Shocking Brazil: Six Games That Shook the World Cup
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Brazilian soccer has become synonymous with excellence that seems to resist the usual dry spells. Supporters from every part of the globe are able to recount joyful tales about Brazil’s unmatched achievements, especially the ones related to World Cup glory. But the most crucial transformation undergone by Brazilian football were a direct result of the Selecao failures. Shocking Brazil focuses on six crucial World Cup defeats that radically altered Brazilian football and which had repercussions far beyond the sport. These games hid narratives of racism, corruption, authoritarianism, corporate power, and greed. Fernando Duarte uses anecdotes, data, and observation to show Brazilian soccer in a completely different light: one that will surprise many, and spark debate and discussion. As Brazil welcomes the world as hosts of FIFA’s 2014 World Cup, 64 years after the country first received the tournament, there hasn’t been a more appropriate time to turn on the floodlights to the secret of Brazil’s success.
While the striker had reached the 1,000-goal milestone the previous year that galvanised his legendary status, his form for the national team had been relatively poor and the media criticism seemed to be getting under Pelé’s skin, especially after the crowds started booing him at some Seleção games. When Saldanha dropped him for the Chile game, even Mario Zagallo supported the decision publicly by stating that, ‘Pelé’s performances recently have been detrimental to the Seleção.’ A lot of the
had we scored first. At the end of the day, Holland and Germany were the best teams at that World Cup and deserved to make it to the final. Instead of trying to find scapegoats, we should have recognised the merit of those who had beaten us.’ For those who had wanted to benefit politically from the exploits of the Seleção, the German World Cup was disastrous. ‘If the 1970 win was a boost for the military government, the 1974 defeat helped sour the public mood towards the dictatorship,’ Marcos
Flávio Conceição: he was also dropped following the announcement of the list after Toledo claimed the club doctors had warned him about fitness problems. Deportivo officially disputed the physio’s version of events and then Toledo backtracked. Still, Conceição stayed out and his place was given to São Paulo right-back Zé Carlos, who had yet to play a game for the Brazilian national team. But the biggest personnel problem was still to explode: a few days after the Seleção had set up in Paris,
he had promised Zagallo, it was highly unlikely the team could focus quickly enough for the game. At 9pm local time and in front of a 75,000 crowd, France kicked off and within 15 minutes had twice come close to drawing first blood. Just as Deschamps had promised, France cut the supply lines to Ronaldo by keeping Rivaldo and Leonardo quiet. The game stats would show that Ronaldo received only 15 balls in the final, half the average of the other six games in the tournament. Brazil, on the other
with only goalkeeper Boubacar to beat and the Sevilla forward whacked the ball past him to put an end to a six-match goal drought. Fabiano would controversially increase Brazil’s advantage five minutes into the second half when the striker escaped the attentions of two markers with the help of what appeared to be a handball. After 62 minutes, a great run by Kaká on the left ended up with a low cross for an Elano tap-in. Brazil couldn’t be playing better after the underwhelming performance against