By Valery Villena © Valery Villena (July 9th 2014)
The football world was in shock during and immediately after witnessing an event that no one alive had seen before: Brazil was utterly destroyed and humiliated in front of their own fans in a World Cup semifinal match by the unprecedented score of 7-1! Such an unbelievable result will likely never occur again.
Nearly two thousand years ago, the poet Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis left us this phrase in one of his satires “rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno” (a rare bird in the lands and very much like a black swan; 6.165).
First of all, what occurred in Brazil was an atypical occurrence because it was outside of the realm of possibilities – not even Germany expected such incredible result. There was nothing in Brazil’s recent past that would have pointed in a convincing manner to such a probability.
Secondly, this will result in an extreme impact throughout Brazilian football. And third, despite its status of rare event, it is our human nature to create explanations in retrospect for this shocking result and even reasons for its predictability.
Graphology and the Wall
For instance, the signs were there and have been slowly but surely creeping into today’s Brazilian reality. If Chile and Colombia had sent Brazil to the psychologist for a quick treatment then Germany has sent them to the cemetery to be buried altogether.
In no way is this hyperbole – Brazil’s current football was destroyed and the ensuing hecatomb is inevitable with swift changes and reforms looming to return Brazilian football to its roots.
War by Other Means?
Football is not war in which anything goes – it is a sport that promotes good health and values. That’s why it has its rules. Brazil had deviated from this path and resorted to chicanery and a thuggish style which was highlighted during their game against Colombia recently.
For South Americans especially it was reminiscent of the legacy of Nobby Stiles and England in 1966 when the English team enjoyed total impunity from the referees during that World Cup that became known as ʻThe Robbery of the Centuryʼ – England’s only trophy at the international level.
Nevertheless, Brazil is a multiple winner of World Cups and Copa Américas. Brazil is the most successful country in the history of the game. Perhaps that’s why the football world is shocked and convulsing at the sight of this current Brazil side – a grotesque caricature of the legacy of Leônidas da Silva, Pelé, Jairzinho, Rivalino, Garrincha, Carlos Alberto and Cafu, winners in style, one and all – playing such football as this and shaming that legacy and themselves.