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March 30, 1989
Last Visit: 13 hours ago
Addicted to Rio de Janeiro
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Favorite visual artistNorman Rockwell; M.C. Escher; Roy Lichtenstein; Andy Warhol; Bob Ross; S. Neil Fujita; Scott Adams; Bill Watterson; Charles Schulz; Robert Crumb; Marjane Satrapi; HergéFavorite moviesBlade Runner; Midnight Cowboy; Brazil; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Apocalypse Now; Spirited Away; Akira; Toy Story; Babe; Das Boot; All About My Mother; The Matrix; Taxi Driver; Manhattan; The Exorcist; Reservoir Dogs; The Wild Bunch; Moonstruck; The StingFavorite TV showsMarried With Children; Spitting Image; Step by Step; Full House; Doug; Seinfeld; Monty Python's Flying Circus; Punky Brewster; Oz; Boy Meets World; Dharma & Greg; The Decalogue; Boston Public; Moonlighting; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; Fraiser; The NannyFavorite bands / musical artistsRush; The Cure; Ramones; The Beach Boys; Vangelis; Run-DMC; The Church; ABBA; Thin Lizzy; The Doors; David Bowie; Pink Floyd; Led Zeppelin; 2Pac; Madness; Charles Mingus; The Who; Frank Zappa; Kraftwerk; Steely Dan; Queen; Roxy Music; The Beatles; AC/DCFavorite booksThe Little Prince; Animal Farm; The Lord of The Rings; Sex, Drugs & Magik; The Jungle; WatchmenFavorite gamesTeam Fortress 2; Super Mario 64; Need For Speed Underground 2; SimCity 4; The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; Half-Life; Max Payne; Banjo-Tooie; BioShock; Flight Simulator X; 007 GoldenEye; Grand Theft Auto: San AndreasTools of the TradeMS Paint, Paint.NET, Windows Live Photo Gallery Editor, Adobe Photoshop CS6 and my trusty Nokia N95.Other InterestsStuding economic matters, drifting across my city, keeping up with my footbal team Flamengo on TV or radio and creating characters and screenplays.
I like to believe some people here in DA might have wanted to know what my opinion would be about the now historic, whopping, and ground-breaking 7-1 score that Brazil took from the soon-to-be champion Germany. Some might believe that I would be devastated. But as I very reminded in the last post, football is not life to me, and if you asked, I thought the result was a little funny (I was sad only for goalkeeper Julio Cesar). Most Brazilians weren't devastated neither, since we raised above such event to cheer for this very same Germany in the final, in order to cheer against our ultra rival Argentina, whose a significant part of its populace crossed the border and made themselves at home here in Brazil without asking too much (and as I write this post, some of them are still here). The surprising thing is that they created a crowd ditty based on a Creedence Clearwater Revival song, mocking us Brazilians for receiving "your daddies at your home". Wherever we base our ditty songs on national rhythms like forror, axé, or most embarrassingly pagode, they base their crowd chants on American rock & roll legends: kudos for their good taste. But of course we Brazilians interpreted a prophetic meaning for the original song that they so blatantly reappropriate for themselves: "Bad Moon Rising" would symbolize the bad times Argentina will go through, as this was their best generation of players since the 80's, and yet, the glories are not coming. Messi and his peers are not getting any younger, and they wasted the best shot at a World Cup that they might ever get. And as the song goes:
I see a bad moon rising. I see trouble on the way. I see earthquakes and lightning. I see bad times today.
Don't go around tonight, Well, it's bound to take your life, There's a bad moon on the rise.
I hear hurricanes a-blowin', I know the end is comin' soon, I feel rivers overflowin', I hear the voice of rage and ruin.
Hope you got your things together, Hope you are quite prepared to die, Looks like we're in for nasty weather, One eye is taken for an eye.
Brace yourselves, Argentinians: hurricanes and earthquakes are coming your way in Russia. And maybe also Qatar.
But at least they reached the final and lost with honour: we were impolitely yanked out from the cup in our own territory, being woke up from the dreams of "history reparations" after the defeat of 1950 with a scathing sound, with a result that might as well become one of the most notorious matches in the History of the game. The 7-1 had a very strong propose: it reminded us of everything that was wrong, and that was being ignored by the medias, like a reality shock. Maybe, the result in Belo Horizonte was indeed shocking... but everybody should know this was also logical, given the circumstances. The crushing - and deserving - 7-1 score to the team of Joachim Löw (a man that I have always admired, despite his bugger-eating habits) was a combination of facts that go from way back: the dedication and hard-work of Germany, and the pedantry of Brazil.A lot has been said that this Brazilian team was going to "exorcise" the ghosts of 1950, when Brazil also hosted the tournament, but lost the final to Uruguay for 1-2 in a massively crowded Maracanã, the so-famously branded "Maracanazzo" episode. In a way, they did it: after such vexation, 1950 became a honorable defeat.
Let's recapitulate (f*ck, a love recapitulating): after the World Cup victory in Italy 1990 and the Euro of 1996, Germany passed through a football crisis, and it started to become irrelevant in the football scenario. After that, at the beginning of the 21st century, the Fußballnationalmannschaft decided sh*t had to be done, and fast. And the first significant result after years was reaching the final of 2002 in Japan, against us. In that situation, we won in a 2-0 match that brought us the 5th title of champions of the world - which still guarantees the hegemony of Brazil in World Cups today. But nevertheless, reaching that final was the result of a work that started to be done from inside. From 2002 to now, Germany made its way to all the semi-finals of both the World Cup and the Euro. Some might say this is the best generation in the history of German Football, as the stardom gave way to serious compromise. Meanwhile, from 2002 to now, a feeling of snobbery took over not just our team, but our population as well. Before 2002, we were living in a low self-esteem after the not-so-humiliating 3-0 defeat to France, in the World Cup Final of 1998. We arrived in Japan/South Korea with our heads low, but with a decidedly dedicated and talented generation, that brought us the 5th with 9 victories in 9 matches (we still are the last team to have pulled that out in a World Cup). After that, the esteem was upped to dangerously high levels. In the 2006 Cup in Germany, we got there with our heads so up to our asses that we didn't believe we could leave the Teutonic lands without the title. A Cup in Germany was a great incentive to the work that was being done by the Fußballnationalmannschaft, but they were still on their way up; we, on the other hand, were heading to our way down, and coach Parreira - who coached the team to our 4th world title in USA 1994 - didn't do a lot to give some seriousness and gravitas to the team. Consequently, we got out in the quarter-finals, after a show of talent by, once again, France and Zinedine Zidane, in a 1-0 match that could have been way more for them. Immediately, we started looking for culprits for that defeat: we were so obsessed for a villain that we started to incriminate player Roberto Carlos, just for beingadjusting his stockings in the moment of the goal. But truth be said, that whole team was drunk with the idea of "we're the best around, nothing is gonna ever keep us down". Germany, on the other hand, reached the semi-finals, lost to the would-be champion Italy for 2-0, and eventually got a 3rd place against Portugal, by the time commanded by the same Felipão that leaded Brazil to its 5th title in 2002 (and to this 7-1 defeat).
The winner coach of 1994 gave way to the winner captain of 1994: Dunga, who took over with an iron hand, as he was determined to fight the stardom and snobbery. But it seemed he was also determined to kill the good football Brazil has always been known for, adopting a more defensive game. If in one hand, he had noble causes, on the other, he didn't quite know what he was doing: it was his very first time as the coach of any team. Yet, he had a tough-as-nails charisma that won over the players and the population, if not the press. After winning the Copa America and the Confederations Cup, Brazil once again came up as a favorite, but this time, Dunga wanted everyone to focus on team first, on hard work. The problem was that he didn't know how to escalate a team, which would depend heavily on defensive bases and individual talents, instead of a whole. And so we felt again in a quarter-final, against Netherlands by a turn-around score of 2-1, with Felipe Melo - the symbol-player of Dunga's mentality of defensive, ugly football - violently stomping a fallen Robben. The press torn Dunga apart, but I'll give him this much: he observed the woohoo that took over the National Team after 2002, and he tried to fight it, but by the wrong means. In the meanwhile, Germany once again reached the semi-finals, and once again lost to the team that would become the champion: Spain, in a 1-0 match that frustrated numerologists. Against a re-ascending Uruguay, they once again got a 3rd place in a 3-2 match.
All of this leaded to 2014 Brazil. Germany started to be respected as a strong team, but there were being some talks that the German players would also be a "generation of losers", for always going so far to no avail. In the other hand, a desperate Brazil returned to Felipão, who coached the team to victory in 2002 and made miracles with the then modest (and now overrated) squad of Portugal in 2006, leading the Lusitanians to a 4th place. Brazil was in the hope of bringing better days to the team, after two failures in quarter-finals, specially in a World Cup at home. Felipão, however, somehow brought the woohoo of 2006 back, and on top of that, he created a hostile air against rivals like Spain, Argentina and Uruguay. His speech was that Brazil had the OBLIGATION to win that Cup on their lands: a dangerous feeling, for the obligation must come naturally, and not forcefully. Germany, on the other hand, arrived with the same compromise of always: Adidas, their sportswear supplier, was smart enough to tap into the Brazilian consciousness by giving to the German team a second outfit similar to that of Flamengo, the country's biggest club (ironically, used against Brazil). Podolski went even further by "becoming" Flamenguista, appearing in several photos and tweets wearing the actual Flamengo outfit, and writing in an impeccable Portuguese. Their love for Brazil aside, they meant business right at start: they scored a 4-0 against Portugal that cost dearly to Cristiano Ronaldo and his team. Then, they had their only non-victory in the Cup with a 2-2 tie against Ghana. And they finished the groups phase with a 1-0 victory against USA, that guaranteed them in the round of 16 with 7 points. This last match was being previously accused of being a "game of comrades"; a term used when two teams fighting each other have one same goal that both can reach with a specific score. If Germany and America remained tied, they would both go to the round of 16, both reaching 5 points and leaving Ghana and Portugal behind. But Germany showed they weren't f*cking around by winning that match; not that America complained though, as they ended up qualified nevertheless.
In the meanwhile, Brazil made a modest apparition on the group stage, given the rivals it was going against. It didn't inspire any solid confidence by going 3-1 versus Croatia, 0-0 versus Mexico, and even 4-1 against a terrible, decadent Cameroon (if anything, taking a goal by Cameroon is reason to alarm). Deluding ourselves, we believed that "everything was going fine and dandy", and the team progressed with 7 points to the round of 16 against Chile, which traditionally loses in front of Brazil. They might have, but this time, victory came at an expense: we only guaranteed ourselves on the penalty shootout, after a tough 1-1 match. Once again, that team was not sending any real signals that it was going to be the Champion. Meanwhile, Germany took out Algeria in the round of 16, in what was possibly the most breathtaking game of this Cup: a 2-1 victory whose the three goals were only scored in the prorogation time. After that, Germany took out France by 1-0, making once again its way to the semi-finals.
Brazil won its match against the promising team of Colombia, which was making a terrific World Cup that far. But our top player, Neymar, left the game seriously injured by a violent intake from defender Zuñiga, who became something of a national hero. Without Neymar, there were some consumes for the match against Germany... but this was when the Brazilian stardom shone brighter than anything else. A speech that "Germany is naturally scared of Brazil" appeared, and while it's undeniable the respect that Germany has for Brazilian football, it was even more undeniable that our return to the semi-finals was married with snobbery, defiance, stubbornness, and arrogance. The 7-1 result was downright natural. And after years of serious work, Germany was finally awarded with the title, in the final match versus Argentina - the third final between the two, after 1986 and 1990. The "losers" finally won, and like Brazil in 1994 and Italy in 2006, it took exactly 24 years for Germany to be World Champions for the 4th time. Of course Germans celebrated by their way:
About Brazil, all that was left to us was a lousy 4th place against the Netherlands, in yet another humiliation, this time in a more humble 3-0. And that was the end of Felipão's era in Brazil, but truth be said: we are always served with good players, and all that we need is indeed a serious coach and some compromise from these said players, like in 1994 and 2002. We're not like Spain, Belgium or Uruguay, in where there needs to be a specific generation of players under the right circumstances. Brazil always has talented players, but there also needs to be a good leadership.
So this was the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. After all the nagging and protests, this was something that greatly boosted the image of the country to the world, as several tourists (and even Podolski from Germany) promised to return. In fact, there's now being a thing in which foreigners are looking for jobs in Brazil: they want to stay. And the Olympic Games in 2016 are a promise that more of this will come. Condensed in two weeks and one city; ours.
But don't worry: there will be more senseless protests until there just as well.