After spending $11 billion to organize the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, was the huge investment justified and who will be the real winners after Sunday’s final game: Argentina, Germany, or social turmoil in a country that wasn’t too convinced that Brazil should have been the host?
A year ago, Brazilians university students and members of a growing middle-class took to the streets to demonstrate for better public services like hospitals, less social inequality and greater accountability of its police.
Certainly the Seleção’s disappointing performance will most likely breathe new life into such protests that were quelled momentarily by the mesmerizing spell of the World Cup.
Protests that took place a year before the World Cup kicked off could become a common sight in the months ahead. Read full story here.
Brazil will hold presidential elections in October. Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-11) said a week before the 7-1 thrashing that the Brazilian team suffered at the hands of Germany that the outcome of the World Cup wouldn’t have any bearing on the elections.
Nobody thought, however, back then that Brazil would suffer its worst humiliation ever in a World Cup.
While watching occasional shots of the crowds during the World Cup matches, it is surprising that there were so few black and indigenous people in the crowds considering that the majority of Brazilians are black.
Taking into account Brazil’s and Latin America’s rich cultural and ethnic heritage, the mostly white “European” spectators rooting for the teams were a reminder of the social injustice and privilege that an elite group of Brazilians and Latin Americans enjoy at the expense of the majority.
In this mix you’ll find the ugly face of racism despite assurances by President Dilma Rousseff that the games would be a “World Cup against racism.”
After Brazil’s star player Neymar suffered a broken vertebra after he was kneed in the back by Colombian Juan Camilo Zúñiga, the racist insults, slurs and death threats went viral and took to social media.
Read full story here.
The end of a dream for Brazilians after losing 7-1 to Germany.
But what about Sunday’s final between Argentina and Germany?
The German team has three challenges to overcome if they want to be crowned world champions for a fourth time on Sunday.
The first one is Leonel Messi; the second, a vastly improved Argentinean team that started to show its true and lethal colors after it beat Belgium and Holland; and last home advantage even if the games are being played in Brazil. No European team has ever won the World Cup in the Americas since the games started in Uruguay in 1930.
After 24 years, Argentina advances to the final stage against its old rival Germany.
Certainly surprises can happen like in 1958, when Brazil became the first and only Latin American team to ever win the World Cup in Europe. Back then Brazil beat Sweden in the final 5-2 thanks to star player called Pelé, who scored two goals in that match.
While Germany may have good players like Thomas Müller, Toni Kros, Philipp Lahm and others, they don’t have anyone that comes close to Messi never mind Pelé.
Considering that both teams are very technical and have top-notch players, Argentina has more going for it on Sunday than Germany despite the thrashing it gave the home team.
Sunday, however, will be the final judge of that.