Reflections on the World Cup 2014

Christ Redeemer FireworksThere is so much to be analysed and said about the World Cup. Despite the fact that it is a grandiose event, it is an all-welcoming occasion that touches those deeply rooted traditions and behaviours of the nations involved. It is a display of talent, commitment, beauty and fun. The heart rates soar and the tension is palpable. Everyone wants to see the stars of each team in action. However, to everyone’s surprise, the soccer’s nation experienced some painful attention this year. How can we all make sense of it all?

The expectations

Apart from Germany’s slaughter of Brazil, the skilfulness and restlessness of certain players still amazes me. Yes, the Brazilians, especially. I vividly remember the 1994 and 2002 World Cups and that is what keeps me hopeful. The good players are out there, they were just not ‘in’ there. Bad call, Felipão, bad call.

Well, you know, things started collapsing after the second game. People around could not believe the bad performances they had just watched from Brazil. You could see the expressions of surprise and disappointment as they were also expecting an exciting game. I nearly lost my composure in the pub where I was watching Brazil vs Germany.

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Then it brought to mind an experience from the first match between Brazil vs Croatia when I was in a restaurant owned by a German with a bunch of Germans around, eyes fixed to the big screen, watching the game. I was so happy to be a Brazilian there at that moment as all Germans were supporting Croatia, the European team. I shouted and cheered the team, trusting that the next match would be better and we would win the 6th time.

The disappointment of many

As you can imagine being a Brazilian in Europe caused people to offer me some TLC after the ‘7×1 episode’. I never thought an Irish person would feel sorry for me the way someone did a few days after that game. I was in the hospital with a friend chatting with the nurse and then after realising I was Brazilian she looked at me with an awkward face and let out a sad ‘Oh, I’m really sorry!’ Ouch!

People’s eyes would shine at the mention of a Brazilian game before the first match. Great expectations set the tone for the championship. Bursting with excitement, many could not wait until the day they would be in front of the telly watching soccer’s greatest fighting for the title.

No appointments, visits, chats or delays on the days of the games. I did not want to talk during the matches and would go around the next day like a zombie; having gone to bed very late the night before due to watching games plus commentaries (we are four hours ahead of Brazil here). Too much expectation, too much involvement. Honestly, I do not know what came over me this year. I was more detached during previous tournaments.

Life goes on

We know for sure that our lives as spectators and supporters have not changed much. The players are still rich (some richer than before), the Germans feel more powerful, the European commentators have more ammunition to criticise the South American teams; we Brazilians understand that the bad performance of the “seleção” ended up being a good thing – the attention can now go back to the pre-World Cup’s climate and the protests and the fight against corruption may gain a more serious place within the nation.

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There are certainly different lessons to be learned regarding soccer too: without passion great things are not achieved; do not trust in reputation in order to give the enemy a fright; being at home is certainly not synonymous with feeling at home (the pressure was on!); go for the experienced winners to get the job done (Kaká watching from the stands?!); one star cannot be the only hope of a team; it is not an audition for Hollywood (interesting dives!) etc. etc.
It seems we all have the answers now.

The good memories

But, yes, there is this love for the sport and it is part of the culture. We find excuses, try to blame this or that one (bad referee!) and all sorts of escapism to try to console ourselves. What can we do? All is not lost.

After Brazil’s exit from the World Cup and in an attempt to show others (and myself!) that there are good memories to cling to I clicked on Youtube on the day of the final. I watched a few compilations of great recent moments of soccer history with Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Robinho, Kaká. Ahhhhh…pure class!


Erica De Monaco Lowry

Erica De Monaco Lowry has been living in Ireland since 2008. She is a teacher, an interpreter, a translator, a tour guide and an insatiable learner. Her favorite pastimes include reading, travelling, socialising and catching up with her family.

Mostrar 12 comentários

  • 12/08/14  
    Luiz Gustavo diz: 1

    Cool ! I like to read soccer articles.


    • 14/08/14  
      Erica diz:

      So, I’ve scored one goal with you, Luiz. :)

  • 12/08/14  
    Fabio Zanardo diz: 2

    This article is very good. Thanks.

    • 14/08/14  
      Erica diz:

      Thank you, Fabio!

  • 12/08/14  
    Angelo Borsato diz: 3

    I guess my comment will appear to be a bit sexist, but I knew it was written by a girl due to the opinions expressed regarding football! LOL
    Anyway, although I disagree with some points of view expressed above, I indeed appreciated the text!

    • 14/08/14  
      Erica diz:

      It’s ok, Angelo. I’m just curious to know which part of the text made you think it was written by a woman. :-) Feel free to disagree. It’s only my view. Or it was. When I wrote the piece above ‘disappointment’ was written all over my face. :-)

  • 14/08/14  
    Jonata fontela diz: 4

    Great article,I agree with you!
    I’m not that into soccer but I felt a little sad…that was terrible…hehe now let’s wait for the next world cup and seif Brazil will do better or even worse…hahah

    • 14/08/14  
      Erica diz:

      Let’s see, Jonata, let’s see. Thanks for your comment.

  • 14/08/14  
    Bruna Rebelo diz: 5

    I couldn’t agree more about several things that you said.

    Specially about the kindness of the tourists saying how was bad lose a game which put us out off the finals, and more, carying about you.

    However, it was a agreeable event that we’ve made and broght us many friends around the world.

    And mostly, we could forget even a little the social problems around.

    Great article!

    • 15/08/14  
      Erica diz:

      Great comment, Bruna! Yes, for you guys in Brazil it must have been a wonderful time to make friends from all corners of the world! That’s why I love comments; I get to know the readers’ opinions and perceptions. :)

  • 14/08/14  
    Victor diz: 6

    Hi.. I liked the post… I just wanna if you are in Ireland, ’cause you’ve mentioned about the

    • 15/08/14  
      Erica diz:

      Yes, Victor, I’ve been living in the Emerald Island since 2008. :)