An odd start to the day. It was not sunny, as it always is in Brasilia at this time of the year. Cloudy morning. For many government workers, no work. For me, it started early. We were all anxious for a game, which we had no clue what to expect. Portugal didn’t start at its best, but had just scored 7 goals over North Korea. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy game.
This was the first game of Brazil in the morning. As my apartment was half way for my friends and family, it was just natural to invite them all to my place. Before going to work, I had already decorated the tables, prepared some yellow and green dessert, and gone to a local food store for some mouth-watering pies.
In the way back home after working for two hours, the streets were completely packed of green and yellow. People going to bars, traffic jams to get home, all sounds of honking horns and vuvuzelas.
We were all there for the beginning of the game, everybody with that anticipation feeling. The game started. Attentive eyes. After a while, we realized that it wouldn’t be easy at all. Portugual was very defensive. Brazil, not able to counter-attack, which is our strongest game. Both teams would be good with just a tie. However, for fans, a tie is never enough. As the game progressed, we went from total joy to a kind of accommodation, consoling ourselves that even with a tie, we would still be the first in the group. Lúcio, our defender, ruled in a gritty game with 7 yellow cards. We finished top of the group, but not convinced. Everybody commented the lack of energy of the game, so technically right that even the kids dispersed to play a more stimulating videogame.
Of course, we’re there for the next round, and will cheer as festive Brazilians. But we are still waiting for a more passionate, energetic kind of game, full of swing, dribbles, and the kind of soccer that uplifts our spirits and makes us jump from our seats. That kind of soccer that invigorates our souls and makes us so proud of being Brazilians that for a moment in every four years, we forget the huge socio-economic problems we have, and believe that we are just a cheerful, joyful country proud to have such a wonderful national team.
During Brazil x Portugal, what made us energized and exhilarant was simply the fact we were together with friends and family. The mundane game was just secondary to our high spirits. We’re still waiting for more. Now, it is the knockout stage. We do our best, or go home.
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