We were exhilarating. Confidence of a winner. Positive bets. Brazilians had been breathless, now they became speechless. No words will ever describe the faces of dismay I experienced during the fatal game Brazil x the Netherlands. We had it all, great individual talents, guts, a tough coach. We missed it all when the emotional balance came into play. Robinho, our inspired player, scored first. The first half of the game was ours. However, the Netherlands started their moment of glory when Wesley Sneijder’s free kick turned our samba into dramatic, sad tunes of “oh, no”, “I can’t believe it”, “what are they doing?”, plus all the irresistible swearing coming from desperate fans’ mouths.
It seemed two different games, two different Brazilian teams, a haughty, self-confident one in the first half, a totally lost, zombie-like in the other. Hopelessness for us. The Dutch took control, more pragmatic, less emotional, they showed self-control; they deserved to win.
Brazilians were speechless. We cried. Too emotional to revert things when the moment was not favorable. Artistry soccer doesn’t win the game. Emotional balance and good soccer does.
Celebration is not green and yellow anymore. It is orange. We weep and wish for better results when we play at home in 2014, hoping that the lessons will be learned. The long-waited dream is postponed for more four years. Until then, we’ll have to leave with the taste of defeat, knowing that things could be different.
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About the authorcarla
11 comments for “Brazil: Speechless and lost”
Carla, thanks so much for sharing Brazil’s world cup with us. I’m sorry for this time, let’s see what happens in 2014. You’ll be playing at home, after all!
Yes, my favourite team is out, too. All the best for 2014.
We all feel your pain, Carla (SNIFF! SNIFF!)
Ana, Brazil and Argentina out…We are sad South Americans! Let’s see what happens in 2014!
Lucy, it was my pleasure to share with you a bit about our World Cup culture here in Brazil. More in four years with all the excitement of hosting the world cup! Sanjay, let’s hope for the best!
Interesting reading Carla. The role of emotion in successful sporting teams is being re-evaluated. I know here with Australian football (NOT the world game!) the more successful teams stay calm and focused and don’t use emotion to drive them to success. (Does this sound like Germany?!)
“Artistry soccer doesn’t win the game. Emotional balance and good soccer does.”
Well said, Carla. Being an American (Southern Californian, no less) who has lived nearly 20 years in the Netherlands, I’ve come to appreciate their sober and business-like approach to life.
It may not be a party, but it’s quite effective.
NYT has an interesting quote from Özil (German of Turkish descent) on combining the two approaches for Germany:
“My technique and feeling for the ball is the Turkish side to my game. The discipline, attitude and always-give-your-all is the German part.”
Thank you, Liz, for this article. Somehow I missed this (even though I read the NY Times most days cover-to-cover – as we used to say back when newspapers came in print!). I’m going to use this for a new entry on my “Learning & Development” blog: http://bit.ly/cPAQh5
Thanks Leo. I’ll look out for your post.
I find it much easier to miss things when reading newspapers online. For one thing, you can’t tell when you’ve reached the end!
Michael, I think it does sound like Germany. They are really playing effectively, emotionally balanced and good technique. Not how we play at all. We need to learn from this lesson, not only in soccer. Passion and emotion are really part of us, but we need to control our impetuous souls for more positive results.
True, Leo, that the Dutch and the Germans have showed that having technique and being pragmatic, with discipline, can have a tremendous effect on the final result. I do hope we learn the lesson even if in the hard way.
Yes Carla…. We were all in dismay and super sad with our loss. But as good Brazilians, the drums keep playing the entire afternoon and we shared our sadness with some great music and surrounded by friends. Well, I did not participate on the “celebration” as I was at home sick, But I could hear the music, the drums, and people singing their sorrows away. 2014 here we come… 🙂