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As Far As Brazil Go – Probably

July 5, 2014



The joy of Brazil going beyond the quarter-final stages of the World Cup for the first time since 2002 was tainted by the news of Neymar being ruled out of the tournament due to a fractured vertebrate.

Utterly heart-breaking, as Brazil lose not only their talisman number 10, but also their Captain, Thiago Silva, who collected his second yellow card in the highly physical match against Colombia.

And I am rather angry.

It’s been 12 hours or so since the match ended, but I cannot shake the feeling of doom that engulfed the celebrations following the 2-1 victory against what had been, till then, the tournament’s most flamboyant and dazzling team. Sadly, against Brazil, Colombia meant business; hard, physical, bone-shattering business.

Brazil without Neymar are simply not the same, and our chances of beating the extremely efficient machine that is Germany have indeed been diminished.

This Brazilian side is all heart, passion, guts and muscle, and little brains or actual tactics. Scolari still doesn’t know how to best utilize his playmaker Oscar, and Fred has been abysmal as the team’s sole striker. The man is invisible. Useless. A tourist at the World Cup.

Things need to change. And they have already, indeed. The inclusion of Maicon in place of the erratic Dani Alves was a pleasant surprise. And maybe, just maybe, the absence of Neymar will inspire Scolari to be more inventive and industrial in his tactics and formation set-up. Brazil need it.

Regardless, it will be nearly impossible to beat the Germans. Low has been in charge of the squad since 2006, and has established great chemistry between his players. Germany simply work. And they have plenty of individual talent when needed too. It’s a terrifying prospect for Brazil.

Without Silva and Neymar, Brazil’s hopes rest on the shoulders of David Luiz (such fire and panache from the man) and the occasional flash of genius from Oscar…

However, realistically speaking, as names like Ozil, Hummels and Muller come to mind, Brazil better celebrate this hard-earned spot in the semi-finals, and leave it at that.

This is where we stop.






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