June 18, 2006

What's the Deal With Brazil?

MABB © ®

I will take some time off of politics to talk about an equally important subject: Football or as we Americans call it, Soccer.

As you know, the World Cup finals 2006 (WC) is bein hosted in Germany. We are having lots of fun over here with, not only the games, but also all the other events going on.

But, to the issue at hand! I have been thinking about Brazil and its games. In the media here, there is a lot of speculation about Brazil, its game and its players. Many people are criticizing the way Brazil has been playing. On the one side they say that Brazil's game is disappointing. That the game many anxiously awaited is nowhere to be seen. That happy, crafty and, to some, artful way of playing is notoriuosly missing. Many more are even questioning the quality of the Brazilian game. They say that there is no such a game, and that it all was just a myth created by the media.

On the other hand, commentators are blaming the players. Of all, people are blaming Ronaldo, to whom they attribute an overwheight problem. Another player who gets some heat is Cafu, about whom people say he is too old. Others argue that the Brazilian team is too full of super stars. And, that every time a pack of super stars come together does not work well.

But, I belong to those who are defending the Brazilian team. Yes, sure, I am a fan of the Seleção, but I also think that there is a reason why it is behaving that way.

First, there is the need to accept that the Brazil games have been short of lame. Indeed, we are not seeing the best of what the Brazilians can do. In fact, we are just watching glimpses of what could be. I also accept that Ronaldo has been very, but very, slow in the games. In his first game he barely touched the ball. In the last game against the Ausies, he made just one play worth mention. Second, I think there is a logic to what is going on. I think this is part of Brazil's tactical plans to shoot for their sixth world championship. The world media have practically made them the default favorites. The ones who should win. Therefore, all the teams, the Germans including, are preparing their games with one goal only: to destroy Brazil's defensive squad. The team itself, Brazil, is being very careful in not letting all this hype get to their heads. That is why I think they are purposely playing the way they are playing. It seems to me, they are taking it one game at a time, and are trying not to show all they've got. Thus, keeping their opponents in the dark, of what shuld be something very clear. After all, most Brazilian stars and their games are very well known around the world.

Lastly, if we take a look at Brazil's wins, they are scores that win, but do not humiliate the opponent. I think they have a modesty which on the one side can be noble, but on the other, can be deceiving (because they don't want to show all the can do).

I think that Brazil does have a real chance at becoming world champs this July, if they follow their strategy (assuming I am right). They will always have an element of surprise for every opponent. I remember four years agon, Ronaldo also had hard moments in the beginning of the finals, but towards the end, he left all his critics with their shoes in their mouths.

PS. Another contender to get to the finals, for me, is the Argentinean team. This time around they play, just beautiful.


Guccio said...

I agree with you. Brazil will show all his force in the next round.

mcentellas said...

Well, I do agree w/ the criticisms of Ronaldo. And I do think the Brazilians have played some lackluster games ... but it's also because their oponents have just stepped up. The Aussies played one hell of a game, never giving up, never surrendering to a team that should've made mincemeat of them. Same w/ Croatia (which is actually a decent/good team). Had Brazil played Saudi Arabia, yeah, then we'd see a blowout. But I'm satisfied w/ the playing.

I'm also glad to see so many little teams play amazing games. Like how Trinidad & Tobago went toe to toe w/ England & didn't flinch. Yeah, they lost, but man did they play their hearts out. Ditto Ghana against the Czechs.

As for Argentina, yeah, they're winning me over. Slowly. Usually, the Gauchos play dirty, cry-baby futbol. But this time they're using skill. I'm happy. But what about Spain?! This might be their year. Or Holland!

mb said...

I think that is core of the idea. Everyone expects the Brazilians to demolish their opponents. I am thinking, in order to get out of that trap they are making a consciencious effort to play it down. And there lies the problem with the performance everyone expects them to show.

As for their opponents, I think it has been mixed. The Ausies have played one heck of a game, but the Croats really disappoint me. They are not the same team as four years ago. Most of their stars are getting too old and are burned out playing in a demanding German league. They are just not as dangerous as they were.

On the game Trinidad and Tobago vs England, man I was sweating buckets. It would have been so good if those Trinis would have won the game. It would have been one of the major upsets (if not the only one) of the World Cup. Last night I was very hopeful the Tunesians would pull an upset, but the Spaniards were just too strong.

I think that many teams are not living up to their expectations. Spain, Sweden, the Czech Rep., Holland, have just passed the tests, if you ask me. They don't play good football, but they are winning games, which is most important.

The ones that are getting my attention are the Germans. If they win against Ecuador, watch out. They have a tendency to come into the finals as weak, but with every winn they build up confidence and end up in the quarter finals or finals.

Frank IBC said...

Off topic, but I thought you'd be interested to know that Google Earth has updated its satellite photos of several areas of Bolivia. Cochabamba, Copacabana and possibly other areas are now shown in significantly higher resolution than before. You can see the individual buildings in both of those cities, just like La Paz. Check it out. :)

Frank IBC said...

Santa Cruz, Oruro, Calacollo, the area of El Alto along the Panamericano heading towards Oruro, the section of the road to Coroico between La Paz and La Cumbre, all are in higher resolution now. Also Arica and Antofagasta.

miguel said...

Thanks for the tip, Frank. I'll check it out.