Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sympathizing with Brazil

The great Brazil team that beat Italy 4-1 in the final of World Cup 1970
Everyone is talking about it! The trashing that Brazil received from Germany yesterday in the World Cup semi-final. It was to say the least embarrassing, humiliating and outright unbelievable.....losing 7-1 in front of your own crowd, in your own country. This is the kind of result usually attained by a Division 3 team when they’re playing a Division One team. With all due respect, even Malta would get such a result when playing against the big teams like Germany, Italy, England and Brazil themselves. But today I want to sympathize with Brazil, and quote the beginning of an article I wrote about “Getting the whole picture” in last Sunday’s Bulletin. My purpose of the article is to encourage the people to see all the good things that are happening in our parish and not to be discouraged if occasionally something goes wrong. This selected quote could not be more perfect for this situation...
“With the World Cup being played right now in Brazil, a spectacle which, like the Olympic Games, is held every four years, the whole world is focused on following the games being played in various stadiums all over Brazil. Surprises obviously were not uncommon, as three of the major countries, which between them won six Word Cup Championships in total, were all eliminated in the early stages. Italy won the cup four times, England once, and Spain once, precisely four years ago in 2010, but none of them made it through the second round, being eliminated and, in their fans’ estimation, humiliated.

Front page of one of Brazil's newspapers today
So another nation will win this year’s edition, possibly Brazil—the host nation—or Argentina, Germany, Holland, or an y other nation that surprisingly impressed in the early stages. But the eliminated nations should look at the whole picture, and cherish the successes they’ve had in the past— something that many other nations never experienced. Granted that there is a lot of soul-searching going on right now, as well as blaming their coaches, their millionaire star players who flunked this time, but the world will not end with this World Cup edition. Others will follow, and another surprising team may shine when nobody expected them to, as did Costa Rica, Colombia, and Belgium in the early stages—all of which are underrated teams but rose to the occasion this year in Brazil.” 

The Brazil team that beat Sweden 5-2 in World Cup 1958
Brazil won the World Cup 5 times, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002, and they have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Granted the expectations were high, but as I wrote in my article, let’s get the whole picture here. Brazil did not win this year, but I hope they remember the glory days, as well as their illustrious stars like Pele, Rivelino, Ronaldo, Carlos Alberto, Falcao and so many others. Yes they were trounced in one single game, but their illustrious history is nothing to be ashamed of, especially when so many other nations never even made it to any semi-final in past World Cups.
Yet another front page from Brazil's newspapers

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