What did we learn from the Mineirazo?

brasilobserver - Jul 17 2014
Is Brazil still the country of football? (Photo: Marcello Casal Jr./Agência Brasil)

(Leia em Português)

By Antonio Veiga

As soon as the whistle of Mexican Marco Rodriguez sounded, ending the biggest shame in the history of the Brazilian national team, a natural process in the search for explanations began. While some felt guilt, others looked for some solace or hope on which to cling. The  very spirit of the football country, five times world champion is at stake.

In a nation where the runner up is seen as the first loser, only the trophy matters. Add the natural pressure of being the host country. To be a hero or villain. Win and convince, delight and honour the mantle. The burden was heavy and the tears streamed down the panic and nervous Brazilian players throughout the World Cup.

Any defeat would have opened room for all these questions. But the  shocking fall from grace, shattered the nation. The German organisation tore into Brazilian improvisation.

Now Brazilian football will have to look exactly to the example of his tormentor.  In a recent study, the German confederation was considered the most reliable institution in the world. The current achievement is entirely a testament to the model that hones young talent and high standards of trainers from north to southern Germany.

The trophy held high by Phillip Lahm at Maracanã celebrates much more than the main title of the most attractive sport in the world. It is the first time that the unified Germany has embraced to celebrate this feat. And the team is reflection of the strength and diversity of this new country. Start players Özil and Khedira with parents from Turkey and Tunisia had the freedom to practice Ramadan. Half Ghanian, Boateng became the first black player to be a champion wearing the German shirt. This is Germany, a plural country that celebrates diversity as a way to prevent the atrocities of its recent past to happen again while also preserving positive traditions. In some ways it is fitting that the country would win in Brazil.

Mercilessly beaten on the field, Brazil gained a lot out of the experience. Now it is also possible to make a shift in the structure of the national football, which was always full of pride, but lacking in tactical and technical innovation. For this, many barriers, created by the backward thinking of leaders who have held power for decades must be broken.

But what about the team? Celebrated after the uncontested victory over Spain in the Confederations Cup a year ago, the team invigorated by Neymar leave with only the shards of the World Cup. Whether you like the group of players or not, there is no alternative but to try to analyse the team.

Brazil’s players wear the shirts of the world’s top clubs. But the team always had to hear from critics that were too young and inexperienced. And maybe they really were. Scolari did not have confidence in veterans like Kaka, Ronaldinho and Robinho, who some time age had rendered their skills as less than before.

Unlike the cycle that preceded this World Cup, the next four years in preparation for Russia will be full of competitions. There are two disputes Copa America: next, year in Chile, and in 2016, in the U.S., in partnership with CONCACAF. The dispute to be on the next World Cup will begin shortly after the first of the continental games.

Winners of the last three editions of the Confederations Cup, it might be good for Brazil stay out next time. Coincidence or not, these titles won a year before the Cup somehow hindered the development of the work as players and the coach sat back on their laurels. After winning against Germany and Argentina in 2005, the team coached by Parreira made ​​one of the worst preparations to compete in a World Cup in 2006.

However, what the last three World Cups over have in common is the fact that the selection had been decided a whole year earlier, leaving little room for change or flexibility. In 2006, players like Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Adriano and Ronaldo arrived with terrible physical form and technique. In 2010, the people wanted for Neymar, but only Dunga was included. And now we’re stuck in a tactical system which has been extensively studied by rivals and Scolari was unable to find alternatives without having to change the way they played.