Brazil is unique. There is the team on the field and there is the mystical team that is a blend of past glory and imagined beauty. The mystical team will always exceed the team on the field because it is a fantasy unburdened by the reality of form, fitness and fortune. I know this, but it doesn’t stop me from measuring each Brazilian team against the mystical team, and the measurement is not statistical or even tangible. It is a feeling I have when I watch them play.
The current rendition of Brazil left me empty from the first 20 minutes of the Croatia game. They were tabbed favorites, but played with utter mediocrity. I was genuinely outraged that the game turned in their favor on a fraudulent penalty, and that emotion never left me as they prodded through group play.
I cheered for Chile for the ideal they represent, and Colombia for inspiring more mystical wonder in their own right than the hosts. The Brazilian foulathon against Colombia and the marvelous James Rodriguez was a disgrace. If you are the karmic sort, Neymar’s injury was the cost of such a cynical performance. More offensive to me was the blatant, selfish stupidity of captain Thiago Silva, who rightly earned a second yellow card and disqualification from the semi-final with a beyond meaningless obstruction of Colombia’s keeper.
Without Neymar and Silva, Brazil were destroyed by Germany 7-1. They offered nothing, but tears and pity after the first five minutes. They were disorganized and undisciplined, and when the game went against them almost wholly without resilience. As from the first day of this tournament, they stirred nothing in me……not even pity.