Brazil’s national soccer team, five times champion of the world, all-time top ranked in FIFA’s table, gave an incredible demonstration of weak playing last night, here in Rio de Janeiro, against the bolivian team. (click here to see FIFA’s ranking)
In front of a tiny crowd of 20 thousand supporters (40 thousand tickets were put on sale), coach Dunga’s team has given a true victory for our rivals: a zero to zero draw. Click here to watch highlights from the match.
Bolivia celebrated the pitiful score like they had won the World Cup. Of course: Brazil gave them the air they needed after 13 losses in a row playing an away game. Stars like Robinho, Ronaldinho Gaúcho and Julio Baptista did nothing to them. The five stars emblem sewed on the yellow jerseys represented nothing to Bolivia, represented by their 10 men on field (one was sent to the shower by the referee). Unfortunately, nothing to our players either.
As you probably know, soccer is almost a matter of State in Brazil (in fact, our president gave some interviews last week saying that our national team should be more aggressive, like Argentina. In case you don’t know, Brazil and Argentina are the lead characters of a true case of love and hate. One can’t live without the other, but take every chance to poke the colleague in the eye. Knowing that, you can imagine the dimension our president’s declarations took).
Being almost a matter of State, Brazilian national team has been questioned all the time for their lack of attitude in the field. The main reason, most brazilians think, is coach Dunga.
Dunga was one of the main players in the 1994 World Cup title campaign. A true leader of the entire team, and a wall in the defensive area. He was the personification of will, strenght and determination. When he assumed the role of national coach, we thought: yes! that’s what we need.
Things came out a little different. In his first games as a coach, he used his visible position to wear clothes designed by his daughter, most of them absolutely terrible. A position like that should be taken seriously, and what he did was wrong. He looked like a clown and also used the national team for personal objectives. We brazilians are used to see politicians do that too, and we consent to this situation with our society’s silence. But don’t come mess with our national soccer team!
After that, he started to line up players we never heard about. Very few athletes from our own brazilian soccer teams were summoned to represent. We waited to see, and we saw bad results.
Now, things are getting more and more tight for Dunga and his crew. He couldn’t even hold on to the tiny cloud of success after beating up Chile 3-0 last week. I believe it’s time for him to let other assume the position. He’s still remembered as a great player, and I don’t want to see that image blowing away.
All that said, coach Dunga is one of the possible reasons to such a tiny crowd last night. The other was the game being held in the Engenhão stadium, one of the most modern arenas in the country.
Engenhão stadium is placed here in Rio de Janeiro and, as a native, I can tell you: it’s hard to get there. Starting from the city centre, you must take the subway, than change to the rail system to get there. Our rail system is nothing like american, french, german, italian… you get the picture. Also, there’s no proper parking lots around the stadium and I won’t even talk about buses. You get the picture too.
For you to have an idea, last october Brazil terminated the ecuatorian national team with a 5-0 win here in Rio de Janeiro also, but with the game being held in the world-famous Maracanã stadium. 85 thousand people were there, including myself. It was awesome.
The question unanswered: why our soccer federation decided for the Engenhão instead of Maracanã? We don’t know the reason, but the result came out to everyone.
Let’s see if things get better for Brazil team from now on. I hope they remember all the time that we are qualifying for the World Cup, and that demands the most of each player and coach.