Painful Lessons Brazil Learned In The 2014 World Cup

The 2014 World Cup will not go down favorably in Brazilian collective memory.  First there were the grumblings about the excessive money being spent to host the event, and how those monies could have been put to better use for infrastructure and education.  Then there was the shattering 7-1 loss to Germany at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte in the semi-finals on July 8, which triggered something that looked very much like a national trauma.  When the Netherlands defeated Brazil in a 3-0 drubbing yesterday, it seemed like the time had come for some national soul-searching.  It was the first time since 1940 that Brazil had been defeated in consecutive home games.  What rankled even more was the fact that arch-rival Argentina made it to the finals with a respectable showing in all of her matches.  Something had gone seriously wrong.

The statistics mask the scale of the calamity in the Brazilian psyche.  The last time Brazil hosted the World Cup (in 1950), it lost the final to Uruguay by a score of 2-1, with Uruguay scoring its two goals in the last 13 minutes.  That defeat caused Brazilian playwright and journalist Nelson Rodrigues to describe the event as “a national catastrophe… our Hiroshima.”  The analogy is not as hyperbolic as it sounds.  Brazil has long defined itself on its virtuosity on the football field; there was a sense that, despite all of her underachievement in other areas of endeavor, there was at least something that Brazil was the best at.  The sport provided a national narrative, a somewhat effective social glue, and a sense of pride.  According to anthropologist Roberto DaMatta, football gave Brazil “a confidence in ourselves that no other institution has given Brazil to the same extent.”  Seen against this backdrop, the psychological effect of Brazil’s showing in the 2014 World Cup games has been nothing less than devastating.


Brazil’s glory days in football:  there can be danger in living in the past

To be sure, there is a danger in reading too much into the outcomes of sporting events.  We must not make the mistake of projecting a whole host of wider “societal lessons” onto a misfortune on the field of play.  No sporting team can win all the time, and slumps are natural parts of the competitive cycle. The July 12 print issue of The Economist contains an editorial by a writer named “Bello” which sees Brazil’s defeat as a symptom of a “wider malaise” in Brazil’s economic and political fabric.  Bello claims that the World Cup disaster is likely to rob President Rousseff of a “boost in an election in October” and that “Brazilian football is no longer a source of national confidence.”  Such statements go too far, I believe.  The World Cup soccer field is not a distillation of the Brazilian national experience.

But there is something to be learned here, and something to take away.  This is an opportunity to reflect on the virtues of perseverance, resilience, and willpower.  We can use Brazil’s crushing defeats to make wider points about recovering from major setbacks.  No one can coast through life without experiencing traumas, setbacks, and disasters.  Defeats can come in personal, financial, or emotional forms.  The great god Pain–to use an expression from German writer Ernst Juenger–will place his hand on our heads many times during our lives.  How we deal with the effects of his touch will provide some indication of our worth.

Competition is the essence of life itself.  It is a biological imperative.  Nations and empires are much like individuals, in that they have their own characters and traits.  Some have the capacity to adapt and learn from their defeats, and thereby emerge stronger from calamity; and some are unable to change their ways, eventually becoming buried by the winds and dusts of historical events.  Nations, like individuals, make their own choices whether to learn from their catastrophic defeats.  In my own experience, I have seen some men laid low by defeat, never to recover.  Others have learned from their experiences and gone on to greater achievement, fortified by the gauntlet of hardships.  Defeat is a stimulus for reform for some, and a death-knell for others.

Historical examples abound.  Assyria was one of the most extensive and feared empires of the ancient Near East.  It set a benchmark for military prowess and ruthless cruelty that few predecessors could match.  From Egypt to Babylon, it controlled a domain held together by military force and fear.  One of its great kings, Ashurbanipal, died in 626 B.C.; fourteen years later, a coalition of Scythians, Babylonians, and Medes swept into Nineveh, the Assyrian capital, and sacked it.  From this one great blow, Assyria never recovered.  It essentially disappeared from history, never to rise again.  Its society had failed to establish the rehabilitative institutions, and the cultural depth, that might provide some relief from a major calamity.  Hundreds of years later, when the Greek general Xenophon led his army over the broken ruins of Nineveh, he had no idea that it was once the seat of a great and prosperous empire.


Assyria never recovered from its military defeat

Rome in the Second Punic War provides an illustration of a different result.  At the Battle of Cannae in 216 B.C., Rome faced a military disaster of the greatest magnitude.  Some 50,000 of its men—more than half her army—were slaughtered by Hannibal’s battlefield brilliance.  In one day, the cream of the Roman army was ground into the bloody soil of Apulia, among them many senators and members of Rome’s most notable families.  The scope of the calamity is difficult for us to comprehend today, but it registered in Rome as something like a Hiroshima event.  The city lay open, and the public went into a general panic.  For the first time, Rome knew the taste of fear.

But this is where Rome showed that it was not Assyria.  Rome adjusted her tactics, replaced her leaders, and dug in for a long and protracted fight. With grim determination and tenacity, it adopted Fabius Maximus’s policy of outlasting Hannibal.  Deprived of decisive military engagements, Hannibal floundered around Italy for years, losing strength, vainly trying to build a coalition of allies to confront Rome.  Rome meanwhile went on the offensive elsewhere, sending Scipio Africanus to attack Carthaginian strongholds in Hannibal’s rear in Spain.  Slowly but surely, Roman tenacity ground down Carthaginian panache and brilliance.  It was a war of attrition, a battle of willpower to see who could outlast the other.  Hannibal was finally forced to return home, and at Zama he was decisively defeated by Scipio.

It will be illuminating to see how Brazil responds to its soccer-field Cannae.  Will it use this defeat as an impetus to improve and come back stronger?  Or will it collapse as did Assyria?  Those who know Brazil already know the answer to this question.  I am confident that Brazil will emerge stronger, better, and more humble from this experience.  In retrospect, it seems that Brazilians approached the games with too much arrogance, too much hubris, and too much laxity.

It is still too early to know the full story, but I suspect that the Germans made a detailed study of their opponents’ style of play and weaknesses, and planned patiently for their match with Brazil.  This type of meticulous preparation is a hallmark of the German way of doing things.  One is reminded of German boxer Max Schmeling’s 1936 bout with universal favorite Joe Louis.  While everyone predicted Louis would quickly dispose of the upstart German, Schmeling patiently and quietly studied films of Louis’s technique in order to dissect his opponent’s weaknesses.  He found a hole in Louis’s defenses, and exploited it.  I am sure the German World Cup team here did precisely the same thing against their Brazilian opponents.

No one can shield himself from defeat.  It will come whether we want it or not.  How we respond to our defeats is the determinative issue.  For the laurels go not to the man who begins the race, but to the man who finishes it.

Read More:  Let Hard Experience Be Your Teacher

131 thoughts on “Painful Lessons Brazil Learned In The 2014 World Cup”

  1. The soccer haters are gonna be out in full force for this one…
    Brace yourself, Quintus.

      1. I only say that because lots of American trolls feel it necessary to say that “soccer sucks, isn’t a sport, etc.” Many Americans do like soccer, excluding a loud, but vocal minority of assholes.

        1. It’s the only thorough gauge of the sporting ability of each nation as a Team. It is a peek in the psyche of each nation.

        2. So you’re saying the majority of Americans like soccer? I think the majority of Americans would disagree.
          Soccer has the reputation that it does due to it being seen as a feminine sport that’s fully embraced by hipsters, women, and homosexual men.

        3. I said “many,” as in lots of people. Nowhere did I say most people or the majority. That would obviously be wrong.
          Soccer has the reputation it does because America’s mass-media has had it in for soccer since the 1950s and has done everything it can to discredit the sport in the eyes of American society. If any other sport got the kind of hostile coverage soccer received over the years, that sport would not be very popular, either.

        4. And blacks as group appear to be incapable of fielding a winning World Cup team. So far. Pele notwithstanding (overhyped as an early Multicult talisman) there are few blacks to worship as there are in American Rulez Sportz.

  2. – They didn’t lose just two players, they lost their two best players – people who works in a group/team, know this can make a big difference.
    – They didn’t play aggainst a great team yet.
    – Most of players were young man in their 20’s with no maturity to deal with a big game. Nobody told them that they could lose.
    – They came from different european teams and they played together a few times because of european agenda, they propably didn’t catch well the “strategy” of each other better.
    – They were suffering a pressure from a whole country and probably the world.
    I know the tragedy suffered from Germany and Netherlands game seems to have no excuse for a country well known to be great on football, but I just can see many factors that contributed for this. Let’s see what will happen in Russia, 2018.
    Anyway, brazilians don’t seem to be that sad about this issue as they would be in the past. Brazilians in the past, were poorer, football (soccer, whatever) were almost their only happiness and source of confidence (as you pointed). Now brazilians have money, they can forget about it easily and find another distraction.
    Anyway, sorry any english mistakes, I’m not native on it…

    1. losing thiago silva and neymar is a big loss but that isn’t the real cause of the bad results. The frontline of their team is lacking talent and skill. How can a player like Fred or Jo be the forward of the brazilian team? Those player shouldn’t even play in a WC for any team, let alone for Brazil.
      People tend to forget that a player like Neymar is always searching for his own succes instead of bringing the rest of the squad in scoring position. It was waiting for a disaster happen with nobody to make the action to supply to the forwards.
      The unrealistic pressure from the whole country was a huge strain on the players and it showed after every game. It’s a very bad sign when players start to cry after every match in the beginning stages of a tournament with this magnitude….

      1. I agree. I guess the loss of thiago and Neymar, Brazil would still lose, just not so miserably.

      2. True Brasil’s frontline was a problem going into the tournament with the exception being Neymar.

    2. Agreed, especially on point 1. Not having Neymar and Silva totally disoriented the team and their youth exacerbated the problem. Look what happens when an NFL team loses their star quarterback, they’re usually out of sync and end up getting embarrassed. I think Brazil played beyond their capacity throughout, though they probably wouldn’t have beaten Germany even with Neymar/Silva, but I can’t imagine it would have been a rout.

      1. England play better without Rooney. The Brazil team was somewhat mediocre. That’s all.

    3. First they have to qualify for Russia 2018…taking that for granted is already another mistake.

  3. Assyria had the habit of putting its bravest & fiercest warriors on the front lines of battle. After every victory, their top warriors suffered losses while the weaker or more cowardly units did not. After every victory, the Empire grew weaker until there were no brave men left. Assyria fell quickly and decisively after its first loss.
    Brazil reminds me of Assyria somewhat. Brazillian stars now all leave for Europe, and the Brazillian clubs are outclassed. The breeding ground for another sport to enter and take over the country’s love could exist (one where Brazillians are authentically the best at home).

  4. the brazilians were very fortunate to make it to the semi finals, the referees/FIFA were obviously helping them so the brazilian people wouldnt make chaos of the WC.
    The team has lost it’s magic for almost 10 years now, and the lack of samba in their football besides neymar showed every game. They need to switch things around and take a good look at the way the Netherlands changed to a young and fresh new team. Players like Fred, Jo, Paulinho, Bernard shouldn’t even be able to tie the shoes of players like Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Romario etc.

    1. Agreed. What the Officials did to Mexico was a highway robbery screw job. Mexico ought to have won that group.

  5. We live in a mad world that worships entertainers (athletes who earn millions of dollars in this case.) Back in Assyrian times and Roman times, people worshipped warriors and great leaders instead.
    It was amusing to watch the Brazilians cry when they got crushed by Germany. People don’t even cry that much when their fellow citizens die in a natural disaster.
    This is how I see the World Cup and sports in general:
    People’s lives are so empty and meaningless that they have to watch entertainers perform in order to feel a vicarious sense of excitement and achievement. They are mere spectators and they act as though they were the ones playing on the field.
    It’s even more pathetic because the spectator sports culture is combined with national pride.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud,
    adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is
    ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail,
    thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.” – Schopenhauer
    If you like sports, play it. If you’re a man, look for your own achievement and glory rather than leeching off other’s. You’re not winning anything and you’re not “supporting” “your” team by watching them do stuff on television.

      1. I was going to say the same thing. There’s a lot of misconceptions about gladiators. Many were volunteers who were in it purely for the glory. It was actually quite rare for a gladiator to die in the arena. I think people confused the gladiator fights with the public execution of criminals, which did take place in the arena. (A lot of the horror stories were written after the fact by vindictive Christians who hated imperial Rome and their pagan gods, and thus wanted to slander them.) Still, high status Roman women used to PAY to bang the most famous gladiators, and those guys even sold their own sweat for good money.

        1. Still, high status Roman women used to PAY to bang the most famous gladiators, and those guys even sold their own sweat for good money.

          Well, time to cancel that MMA outing with the GF. Too many groupies hanging out next to the changing rooms which now have a bouncer and a numbered ticket dispenser next to them as well as a bench where they can wait before entering the self-proclaimed “hall of champions”. Better not give her any ideas I may live to regret later on.

      2. But only when Rome was starting to decline.
        When a civilization heads into decline, they switch from admiration of leaders and warriors to actors and sportsmen.

        1. I disagree. The Hippodrome was a political and cultural glue. Also, it helped with horsebreeding. F1 and stock car racing are technological feats. It’s a shame that airplane racing is not popular. Also what about Polo? That’s a useful sport. Rowing the same. How else can a warrior practice anyway?

        2. No this adoration of gladiators also occurred at the height of the empire. There are sheeple everywhere and at every time in history.

    1. In the case of men, Jack Donovan calls it vicarious masculinity. Our modern western culture is so soft, boring and feminized for most men that they live through the few men who are experiencing the satisfying rough and tumble of actually playing the sports.
      It should be empasized again that there’s nothing wrong with watching sports, especially live in a stadium which is fun, but when it becomes an obsession where your fanship defines you as a man, then it’s ultimately empty and giving little return.

    2. Hello Skoll
      Well, I live in Brazil and I think I could tell you what happen here. This brazilian emotional response to football is cultural. In the past, when brazilians used to be the best, brazilians were even more emotional.
      Average brazilian were poorer (doesn’t has many options to be entertained) and Brazil seems to be a forggoten country on a cold war age. Football was one of the few things a brazilian could feel pride and happy.
      Now Brazil economic grows, quality of life is better and most brazilians have money. It’s still has many problems, but far better than in the past.
      As you saw, brazilians cried during the game, because they still hold this tradition from the past. It turned cultural. But as I walk on streets here and talk to brazilians, they don’t seem that sad as they would be in the past. They keep working, studying and distracting with other kinds of entertainment as nothing happened. It’s seems football will be no longer a brazilian passion in a matter of time.

      1. Don’t worry about your fans crying after a loss in the cup. Just look at Boston fans after any of their teams loose a big game.

    3. >People’s lives are so empty and meaningless that they have to watch entertainers perform in order to feel a vicarious sense of excitement and achievement. They are mere spectators and they act as though they are the ones playing on the field.
      This is what always puzzled me about soccer fans, the fact that it never occurs to them how it’s just a result of their empty lives.
      I like watching soccer from time to time, i enjoy playing it too, but spending extreme amounts of time and energy in knowing everything there is to know about all the players and teams in the premier league, just so you could regurtitate the same information to another soccer fanatic? I’ve heard these types of conversations a million times and….fucking yawn.

  6. Painful Lessons Brazil Learned In The 2014 World Cup: Kickball is ghey and boring.
    Rugby League FTW!
    BTW: I’m American

    1. There’s Rugby Union and there’s Rugby League. Very different beasts. Good international Rugby Union, say Austalia v SA is amazing.

  7. Only Quintus could turn something that I thought was utterly pathetic (the way Brazilians reacted to a defeat in a sporting event) and turn it into something enlightening and inspiring. Continue onward, man.
    It reminds me of a quote from Marcus Luttrell’s service in the chapter I just read:
    “Once in a while some guys put up for decorations and a ceremony takes place somewhere. You see them in dress uniforms, standing proud. But that’s politics and theater. You should see them as I have, downrange, in action. They’re amazing to watch, risking their lives to serve their country. I don’t like to talk about valor awards. I don’t think it’s useful to think about them. We just go to work, and it’s the work itself that tells us who we are. Our pride is no less without the fanfare.”
    Don’t quit on yourself:

  8. From another side of this, I found it interesting to see how the Brazilian team, as men, would cope with all the pressure surrounding them. I was seeing as the tournament went on that they were in for rude awakening.
    1. They cried all the time even when they BEAT teams. These weren’t men, these were children playing. I understand passion but composure is necessary. Unless you have the trophy in your hand you need to remain determined, as the Germans did. They beat the tournament favorites 7-1. A result like that will likely not happen for at least decades. Yet, they knew they hadn’t won shit yet. They stayed focused and won the tournament. The way some of the Brazilians dropped to their knees as soon as that game against Germany ended and started simultaneously crying and praying was so ridiculously telling.
    2. The romanticism of the whole thing. Playing the tournament at home it all seemed perfectly set for them to win. It was “destiny”. They believed it so much that it looked like they felt they didn’t actually need to play. Yeah, well, when you play a country such as Germany, that shit does not fly. The whole Neymar thing was pathetic as well. The focus turned from winning the tournament for their country to “winning for Neymar”.
    At the end all this tournament really showed is why the Germans dominate at everything they get involved in again and again and again. They breed men (and women) that do not let emotions clout their judgement.

    1. They cried all the time even when they BEAT teams.
      That seems to be a Southern European thing, which Northern Europeans have always found a bit silly but still a part of their culture.

    2. is you ask me, Neymar ducked out with an ‘injury’ to absolve himself from embarrassment.

      1. Even his press (crying of course) conference seemed kind of fake…if they injury was so bad, how come he was in the next match getting all the attention. Neymar is the Justin Bieber of football, said an english player once. How accurate!

    3. I can’t help but agree with this. Funny thing is, when i brought up this aspect to an avid Latin American football fan, i was accused of being Euro-centric.
      Odd, as i’m half Euro, half East Asian.
      It’s the whole German goal setting & process refinement & utter professional approach on the field that i was admiring.
      In the interviews, i’d be seeing the Germany coach talking about details such as practicing more set pieces as opposed to working on possession passing. The concept of playing a high defensive line as they had their goalkeeper who doubled as an effective sweeper.
      Nary a mention of emotion, vague murmurings of ‘destiny’ or the like.

    4. I agree totally. All those silly haircuts, all that media adoration, the “I belong to Jesus” shirts…yikes…they seem to have more love for the limelight than for a job well done. The don´t know how to win nor how to lose.

  9. Brazil in many ways reminds me of Britain…..and what the US will be like in 10-20 years time.
    It is very difficult for nations once great to come to the realisation that they are no longer great….
    When foreigners think of British “culture” they see poets/writers/economists/inventors… long….long ago dead….instead of the chav/celebrity obsessed/ Politically-Correct/Multicultural Hellhole that British “culture” is in fact today.
    The Brazil that can actually play football is long dead….and it died in 1970.

    1. Interesting fact: Per capita the UK is still the most scientifically prolific country in terms of ongoing achievements and publications on the planet.
      Remember. Per capita. The US achieves more overall through dint of being a supersized country and everything adding up under one national label.
      I was surprised to learn that about the UK, only found out that they were number 1 in the world on that front last week. They even beat Japan.

      1. South East England It’s one of the great locii of invention historically. Northern Italy is pretty good too.

      2. The UK, alone in Europe, still has a decent university system. The German system, once producing Nobel Prize after Nobel Prize, went into a steep decline with WW2 and has never really recovered.

        1. One reason for that is the fact that most people in Germany can afford the tuition fees. The fees in the UK are so freaking high that only well-suited people can afford sending their children there. So of course, you will find more stupid people in German universities. But we give poor people the chance to be excellent, which pays off in the long run. Look at the society in the UK and how people live outside of the industrial and educational centres. The policy of patronizing the elite and letting the poor rot in the suburbs is destabilising their society in the long run. By the way: German scientists/writers got 6 Nobel prizes in the last 10 years (1 literature, 1 chemistry, 2 physics, 2 medicine), which is not too bad if you consider the number of developed and well-educated countries on this planet.

        2. Mate, university fees in the UK are ridiculously cheap. You do not need to be wealthy to go to university in the UK.

        3. Compared to Germany? Nope. Normal German universities have no tuition fees (we had them for a some years… around 1000€ per year). University is not totally for free though. You have to pay around 600€ “administration fees”. That’s it. How much are average tuition fees in the UK again? The poorest student you would find in a German university maybe couldn’t even afford two months in a British university.

        4. Did some more research. Seems like you can escape tuition fees in Scotland. So it’s more of an English problem 😉

        5. A few thousands a year. A pittance compared to what I paid in America. That said, a university degree in the UK is not as important as they are in some other countries.

    2. The UK owns most of the US T-Bonds after China and Japan. Brazil’s government has no stake in anything.

      1. This probably was a football blip for the Brazilians. There are probably around 100 million men in Brazil. The men between 15-35 probably total up to 33 million. The English, population 45 million can call on perhaps 10 million men around that age. The Germans can call on around 20 million. The English just by weight of numbers might be expected to lag with the football based on the man power pool alone. Then there’s the skill set the coaches teach them…woeful pool for selection woeful educational set up for footie. England is doomed unless a miracle generation show up. The presence of Muslims and blacks isn’t helping either, as it was advertised.

        1. It’s probably more like 7 million English men between 15-35. How many of that crop even identify with the nation as well? Probably about 4.5 million.

        2. I just looked at the demographics based on the census. The cohort of English around Beckham’s age was largest 4 year cohort and it’s declined and diversified since then. I doubt England will be about to rely on the Mohammad’s and Akmeds in the pipeline. Each four year cohort is producing less than 3 million males and females. There’s no way that the place can catch up with Germany let alone France. The FA probably ought to speak up for racism and a high native birthdate for the English.

    3. Brazil has won the World Cup three times since 1970 and only twice before.
      Brazil as a nation has never compared to Britain.
      It is a subject of debate whether London or New York is the financial capital of the World.
      I think you are stretching the “similarities” between Britain and Brazil to breaking point.

  10. “Bello claims that the World Cup disaster is likely to rob President Rousseff of a “boost in an election in October” and that “Brazilian football is no longer a source of national confidence.” Such statements go too far, I believe. The World Cup soccer field is not a distillation of the Brazilian national experience.”
    Hum, it is. If you did a bit of research, you would have found that the popularity rates of the government of the WC winners always goes up. Zapatero (Spain 2010), Cardoso (Brazil 2002) and Chirac (France 1998) being the most recent examples. (Italy 2006 was only one month after the elections) As a reader from one of those countries, I experienced it firsthand and it’s real.

  11. If football was all that really defined Brazil, then they deserve to wail and gnash their teeth. Maybe in all this they’ll take on the idea that this is just a game and start being a better country.

    1. Haha! The biggest sport in the world is a “sport for banana republics”?
      Put down the crack pipe son.

      1. It’s a sport for Minted Germans. How I laugh at the thought of Muller awkwardly scoring the first at the Semi-final. Lol.

      2. I never said there weren’t a LOT of Banana republics.
        Maybe you should stop sucking on sportscaster’s pipes. Half the world likes Opium derivatives too, and much of africa has AIDS.
        Doesn’t mean it is the newest and bestest thing. It’s a shitty sport for Banana republics. I stand by my words.

        1. Speaking of AIDS and Africa, to all the tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy nuts claiming it is a CIA-engineered super bug designed to destroy the degeneracy propagated by gay village inhabitants, here is a more “natural” explanation for its mysterious origins:

        2. Yeah, I heard about that over three decades ago.
          Immorality takes it’s toll. Always.
          No one is admitting that 88% of Americans with HIV are homosexuals, either.

        3. My reason for disliking soccer?
          I don’t recall actually giving one. Are you talking to yourself? I don’t even recall stating that I disliked soccer.
          I said “Who gives a fuck?” Obviously you do. I don’t. It simulates neither hunting nor combat, and it’s popularity is a dramatic symptom of cultural stasis and decay.
          It’s boring and the players are crybabies.
          Technically, Basketball was invented by the Incas in about 3000 BC. So? I hate basketball too.
          Soccer is SO unfullfilling to the ‘fans’, that they regularly stage combat in the stands. How is that not proof that Soccer is missing something visceral?
          but not caring about something is not the same as ‘disliking’ it.
          First comment you made claimed I said it wasn’t popular. Bullshit. Second comment claimed I said I disliked it or that it was new. Again bullshit.
          I don’t appreciate your using me as a straw man to springboard into whatever rant and score ‘points’ off of me. Either respond to what I actually say or fuck off.

        4. Meh. I just thought the banana republic comment was daft, a pointless attempt at being offensive that was off key owing to the sport being supremely popular in some of the wealthiest and most stable nations on the planet.
          If I’m to be succinct and respond directly to what you were saying I would say this: what a load of bollocks

        5. Fine, let’s look at it from another point of view. What useful skills does soccer teach? besides, you know, crying anytime someone touches you, and not using your hands?

        6. I’ll completely agree that the excessive crying of big stars is pretty annoying, it’s one of the reasons that I don’t like the game either.
          But to answer your question, like almost all other team based games it does help develop dynamic teamwork.
          Also leg control.
          Would be good for a martial artist who uses his legs a lot I guess

  12. Good for Germany as a country where strong expressions of patriotism are still widely frowned upon. Their team represents the best vision Germans can have of themselves – successful, charming, combative, yet compassionate, humble and cool.
    Why Brazilians lost?
    Too much sex! LOL

    1. Братче, всички в тоя сайт идваме само да се научим как да си хванем по някаква кифла.

  13. Can’t talk about Brazil without talking about massive amounts of corruption.
    I like the girls in Brazil. They aren’t the prettiest, but they aim to please. However, I hate the government and the power structure there. It is corrupt beyond all recognition.
    It’s where the US is going.
    Soccer is a minor topic. The question is: Does Brazil want to head in a better direction and pass by the US as it declines? Or does it want to use the decline of the US as an excuse for its own decline?
    I suspect they will choose the latter. But, you never know what will come of a nation when it has to search its soul.

    1. I like the girls in Brazil. They aren’t the prettiest, but they aim to please. However, I hate the government and the power structure there. It is corrupt beyond all recognition.

      Indeed. Sometimes I wonder how that country even manages to function without regularly grinding to a halt. The fact that Brazilians seem incapable of breaking out of that persistent mold speaks volumes about how they apparently perceive and “organize” themselves. One does start to ponder at some point whether the unspeakable heresy of genetics does not actually play a genuine role in the divergent fate of some nations as opposed to others?

      1. Sometimes I wonder how the USA manages to function, given Congress’s complete inaction on pressing economic matters, which is killing the job market.

  14. Brazil Selacao is a sort of Multi cult fantasy promoted by the European media. A bunch of Ruddy Lanky Vikings won the lot. With an assist at the back from Boateng. Most of the Europeans were sticking the black players at the 10,11, 9 positions. I know that Hodgson was playing Sturridge and Sterling in part because he anticipated tropical conditions and expected the black lads to be fitter for it. Then along come the Germans and their apotheosis.

    1. That goes to show how good the German team is. White guys take to cold better, black guys to heat.

  15. The biggest takeaway from the World Cup isn’t Brazil or Argentina’s defeat and ensuing discord.
    The biggest takeaway instead is a newly-reframed perception of Germany and the hope that people will reconsider how the media and history has incorrectly portrayed them.

    1. That frame will get buried. The Media have buried the German victory quite quickly. All the Tribal team owners in the NBA NFL can’t have white men looking at white men win stuff. I’m not explicitly saying the Germans are evidence of white supremacy as there is more to it. However the defeat of Brazil speaks volumes. Africa really cannot get its shit together for some reason either. The French win in 1998 was promoted as the Multi-cult validated. This is a huge set back for the “say no to racism” agenda.

      1. Germany’s win is evidence of superior training, teamwork, strategy, and tactics. The German Football Federation also completely reworked their player development and reaped the benefits.

    2. This was my first thought immediately after the game was over. Germans deserve to have pride in themselves and their nation just like any other country. Post WW2 portrayal of them seems to have neutered them. But I hope this victory changes that even if very little.

      1. Did anyone else notice that no German had a sleeve of tattoos or even one tattoo. Those damn Germans are too cultured.

      2. What makes you think that they lack pride? And they are not neutered, at least not on the field. They actually won the World Cup for the 4th time this year, after winning it previously in 1954, 1974, 1990.
        They are always among the favourites to win the title as well, and held in high regard by their rivals.

    3. Well, Hollywood is largely responsible for Germany’s portrayal in western media. And since the Germans’ WW2 atrocities were against a certain minority that runs Hollywood and shall remain nameless, that’s why the Germans are singled out by them and those perceptions have endured.

  16. ‘but I suspect that the Germans made a detailed study of their opponents’
    style of play and weaknesses, and planned patiently for their match
    with Brazil.’
    I have to agree with you there. Quite a few people were focusing only on how bad Brasil was. Just wait until smartphones progagate in greater numbers in Brazil and kids are playing games on them instead of learning ball control in small spaces from a young age.

    1. Just wait until smartphones progagate in greater numbers in Brazil and kids are playing games on them instead of learning ball control in small spaces from a young age.

      Forget games. The ensuing selfie epidemic will become outright biblical at that point, you can be sure of that.

      1. This fucken culture of selfies we live in is mind blowing. It truly is sad when you a see 30+ man taking one for a random occasion. Makes me sick to my stomach seeing where were headed.

      2. They will be called:
        (As in that laugh Brazilians have, huehuehuehue).

  17. Another classic example of letting outside forces, that really have no connection or effect on your immediate life, dictate your emotions and moods. It is always best to take a step back, even if it’s little by little, whenever you feel that you are getting too attached or putting too much time into something that you didn’t create/cannot develop yourself. It’s when the masses, that have no effect on something like the outcome of a football game forget this very concept, that they are so brutally hurt and destroyed.
    It’s one thing to be proud of something you are apart of, it’s another thing to dump all of your energy and time into something you can’t control.
    Skoll has the right idea. The fact that Brazil used football as a “last resource” for their own national pride is each and every one of them’s fault, but what matters is how they will bounce back, if at all. Fuck, you might as well blame it on the rats that spread disease because of how unimportant and irrelevant finding out the cause for it, is. The only thing that’s important is what they will do for themselves here on out, in the present, whilst planning for the future. “It’s what you do in response to that defeat, that measures your true worth”.
    That’s what gives me pride. If this is practiced, people who see and meet you will be glad that you hail from the same roots as they. This is because of the things you have accomplished, and not because the football team of the country you live in is doing well.

    1. If I were to get a yellow card and had to miss the next match I would work that much harder to score the winning goal in this game. Dietmar Hamann.

  18. “The stone cannot know why the chisel cleaves it; the iron cannot know why the fire scorches it. When thy life is cleft and scorched, when death and despair leap at thee, beat not thy breast and curse thy evil fate, but thank The Builder for the trials that shape thee.” -The Hammer Book of Tenets

  19. Here’s what happened – Scolari picked a really shitty side against the Germans who have been building this team for roughly 14 years. What is more 6-7 of them play for Bayern Munich meaning they know each-other extremely well.
    The rout happened because Germany scored first and forced Brazil to open up. Germany remains a counter-attacking team to this day but has added ball control and high pressing against teams that want to play for 0-0 or penalties.
    Brazilians won’t recover from this – they simply do not produce enough good players and managers to match the European teams or rather they pick their players based on reputation rather than merit. Apart from T.Silva, Neymar and Oscar (maybe) the entire team needs to be scrapped and filled with younger players who give a shit. Taking Hulk in stead of Coutinho ? Just….no.

  20. I’ve only recently joined the ROK site & i must say one of the standouts for me is any, literally ANY contribution from this Quintus Curtius chap. I love the fact that i have a reason to refer to the Ancient Classic world references littered throughout his work.
    Very well written. Love the ‘rise & fall of empires’ analogy. Looking forward to more of your fine work, sir.

    1. Dude, put away the knee pads. They won’t protect you when he gets ban-happy. Yeah, he gives good article, but no need to suck his dick about it.

      1. I agree with frank rook’s sentiment, but feel he went too far as well. Love the way you handled that Brigadon.

      2. Appreciate the heads-up. I’m guessing being new here & being previously force fed negligible quality mainstream media prompted my verbosity.

  21. Not a very deep article I’m afraid. I was expecting a bigger dissection of what the f.. happened to Brazil and what we can in turn learn from it.
    I think it would have been better to use this chance to make a point that being caught up in euphoria and showing too much emotion is just not the way to prosperity and growth. It was so painfully obvious to anyone that the whole nation buckled under immense pressure and euphoria they put on themselves – just watching the players and fans during intonation of the national anthems was painful to say the least…It’s also about entitlement. Brazil almost felt entitled to win the world cup – the past, the tradition, the brand as the best football team in the world, and finally the cup being held in their homeland. Again, their defeat shows us that both individuals and countries aren’t entitled to shit – you have to earn it, day in day out!
    Germany on the other hand is an example of what we as individuals should strive for, coolness, calm and ever remaining in the present.

    1. Well you also have the Joe Louis example. In the first fight Joe Louis didn’t take Max Schmeling serious enough, he spent a lot of time golfing instead of training. Hence Max after 12 rounds was finally able to take Joe out.
      However, the 2nd fight Joe did take it more seriously. Hence Joe clobbered Max in very first round with a knock out.
      That’s why that anecdote is in there.

  22. Great article!
    Though I’ve always been a Brazilian football fan, I don’t think they deserved to go even past the second round this time around. I’d like to add as to what I think of Brazilian debacle:
    `- I think FIFA helped Brazil reach the semis.Not by fixing the matches, but by fixing its draw. It’s common to see that, FIFA helps the host nation draw so that it can proceed atleast to a later stage, so that the local population turns out in larger numbers for the matches. In 2010, South Africa too had an easier draw? Where are they now? They didn’t even qualify for this World Cup. Even though Russia 2018 is 4 years away, I’m already predicting that Russia will atleast reach the second round or quarterfinal stage of that competition (what they’ve failed to do in Brazil 2014) because FIFA will rig the draw to see that Russia has an easier group.
    I thought Brazil had a comparatively easier draw. but I knew the level of its play when it drew goalless with Mexico in the group stage. The win over Chile was a fluke in the second round, Chile deserved to knock out Brazil already. The penalties saved Brazil.
    – The Brazilian team is full of posturing overhyped overpaid footballers who actually have a God or star complex. Neymar is not a ‘star’.This team has no talent of the likes of Romario, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Bebeto even if I can think of recent names.
    And the team is actually too dependent on the present ‘stars’ to save it. They suffered from the same thing what plagued Portugal (Ronaldo), Uruguay (Suarez), England (Rooney), France (Benzema), to save it. Football is an 11 man game, not a single man game, even though a stroke of genius can save the game for a team.
    This ‘star dependence’ or ‘hero worship’ even affected Argentina in the final. When Messi was shut out by the German defence (Boateng did a great job man marking him), Argentina’s attack against Germany lacked teeth, for Messi was invisible in the final, without Angel Di Maria to support him. When Gonzalo Higuain was taken off in the final,I knew that was ominous for Argentina, because he was the only attacking player worthy to partner Messi. I thought Argentina was playing to take it to penalties in the final, to have their goalkeeper Sergio Romero play the hero again, as he did against Holland in the semis shootout.
    Messi’s success on the world level, also depends a lot on his passing teammates in Barcelona, with whom he can set up his blistering runs on the one touch pasees. In Argentina, he doesn’t have those partners like Iniesta. with the exception of Di Maria or Higuain.
    So for Brazil, when Neymar was injured against Colombia, it was the end of Brazil’s attack for the rest of the competition. Look at Fred and Hulk. These two should not be playing on the national level. David Luiz’s over-hyped defending was horrible and exposed, both against Germany and Holland. I think the only two players who deserve to go through to Russia 2018 should be Oscar and Neymar, from the wasteland of this team.
    – I think too much sex and money is ruining the sport. The stars are playing for individual recognition and advertisement contracts. You see it in the players from Portugal, Brazil and England. The sexualization of the fans and sport has made football look like a bunch of 22 men kicking a ball in a Colosseum filled with whores. Football could do well without it.
    – Germany, Argentina and Holland were the deserving teams who got the top honors. I don’t think any other team deserve to be in the top 3 apart from these. I like Germany disciplined and calculated approach. They have a team of great players, Schweinzinger, Goetze, Khedira, Kroos, Neuer, Lahm, Oezil and most importantly Muller.
    I like the heart behind Holland’s playing style. But the best of them all I would still say is Argentina for me from this World Cup. They left fewer goals than anyone in the knockout stage. Sabella has done a good job. Messi is however no Maradona. He was deservedly the player of the tournament, but he couldn’t lift the team when it mattered the most, a la Maradona in 1986. He still has time till 2018.

    1. Brazil may not even qualify for Russia 2018…Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, even Costa Rica are better teams now. Fuck them.

  23. I feel bad for Brazil but it’s just football. I know it is much, much more there but I don’t see hosting World Cup as a loss for the country. Sport events provide global exposure and pick interests of global investors. Opposition and competition will always try to stain reputations and I see that as indicator of progress. Western media whined excessively about Sochi Olympics and there defiantly were some mud slinging at Brazil.

  24. First off its not football its soccer and really…… Who cares? Its not football

  25. Leave it to Quintus to inject an anecdote about Scipio into an article about soccer.
    I salute your redoubtable brilliance, good sir.

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