FIFA World Cup 2014: It’s not the end of Brazil

For a football-crazy nation, this must be the equivalent of the fall of the Roman empire

Hyderabad: Brazil, a five-time World Cup champion, was not so much beaten as decimated on the field by rampaging Germans in Belo Horizonte (Beautiful Horizon). For a football-crazy nation, this must be the equivalent of the fall of the Roman empire, all its pomp dissolving in 90 minutes of classy football by three-time World Cup champions Germany.

Sport was defined as war minus the shooting by the percipient George Orwell. To the Brazilians, the semi-final rout must have been particularly galling as President Dilma Rousseff’s authorisation to spend $11 billion to organise the World Cup on home ground had attracted adverse comment and protests against profligacy. Ms Rousseff was booed soundly at the end of the game, her game plan to leverage the sauccessful conduct of the global event into votes in the upcoming national elections sputtering already.

Mercifully enough, the true spirit of a sporting nation like Brazil did come through in the end although the game seemed to come out of the theatre of the absurd in producing a result not suffered in 94 years by Brazil, who, incidentally, were unbeaten in the last 26 internationals and unbeaten at home for close to 40 years.

Those ardent and nationalistic fans who came hoping to see Brazil win despite the absence of Neymar and skipper Thiago Silva stayed to applaud the Germans with salutary shouts of “Ole!”. The greatness of sport is that the vanquished do not disappear from the battlefield, they merely get up off the floor and signify the rebirth of hope.

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