BRAZIL: THEY COULD NOT DELIVER EVEN SCOLARI’S SMALLER DREAM

It was statistics and it was the game so far and it was the love for the Brazilian Football team – the reasons for cheering for Brazil, until July 9. It came naturally for the Football fans across the world. Yes, Germany is a legendary Football team as well but when it comes to choosing between Brazil and Germany for a third country Football fan, the Brazilian fans would far outnumber the German fans, when it comes to a World Cup match – at least this was the case before the Brazil-Germany World Cup 2014 semifinal match.

It was supported by facts like Brazil had never lost a match at home in 39 years as the FIFA World Cup app says. But that was before this Brazil Vs Germany match on July 9.

Brazil faced Germany in 2002 World Cup final where Brazil outpaced the Germans to lift their 5th World Cup Crown. Germans had their sweet revenge and in style when they paid back the 2-0 loss of 2002 final with the 1-7 victory of the 2014 semifinal. The victory margin is huge and it gives Germany the edge in celebrating the feat even if the Brazilian team played like a novice with no defence and defanged attack.

Yes, the love for the Brazilians Football and the prayers for it to win a World Cup are not going to die because of it but the foundation of it has been shaken pretty well. How can the mere absence of two players push a team to perform so childishly?

And the bad show was not a fluke, was not by chance on a bad day, because the show continued in the next match – against Netherlands, played for the 3rd place – and again they loss it massive 3-0!

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BRAZIL VS GERMANY: I AM SAD BECAUSE BRAZIL LOST IT THIS WAY

No one had expected it – not even me, sitting half way across the world, in India, when the game began – when it was 1:30 AM, July 9, India time – when Luiz Felipe Scolari’s boys began to take over the Germans – a team with as good prospects as Brazil had – but that was before 1:30 AM – and that was it – by 1:50 AM, it was written all over – the Team Brazil was effectively and mercilessly slain – its journey to this FIFA World Cup edition was over – it was slashed, it was chopped – and its pieces were thrown to add to the humiliation that kept on exacerbating the misery as the match progressed.

Brazilians are sad. They are hurt. And they are losing their cool. And nothing illogical about it!

Brazilians are sobbing. Brazilians are weeping. Brazilians are crying. They are resorting to violence to express their anger. Someone tweeted a Brazilian newspaper’s front page (Estado de Minas) that was almost blank, as if protesting this shocking defeat – a loss that was not even a World Cup loss going by the benchmarks of the World Cup and of Brazil. They are shocked. They can’t believe it.

And it is not just in Brazil! Brazil is the most loved Football team across the globe and Football, the Beautiful Game, is the most loved and most sporting game across the boundaries.

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BRAZIL VS GERMANY: HOW THE HEARTBREAK HAPPENED

Nothing much to write about this one, that was supposed to be the most high-profile and most challenging World Cup match.

It was an overall Brazilian washout led by the six minutes in the first half during which the shine of the Yellow was totally shadowed and it further exacerbated the Brazilian show. Four goals in six minutes – German attacks aided by limping Brazilian defence – it is going to haunt the generations of Brazil’s Football lovers in a country that is mad about the Beautiful Game.

11 hours ago
It’s disaster!
Its massacre scale!
It’s almost done!
The rout without the clinical precision!
Germany 4 Brazil 0. Can Brazil come back now? It’s almost sealed. Just 25 minutes into the game. Can Brazil save the day and the 39 year old record of remaining unbeaten at home? No!!
Its riot now!
Here comes the 5th German goal. The 1st finalist of the FIFA World Cup 2014 is Germany.

11 hours ago
Germany unleashing a massacre in Brazil – winning lead of 5-0 – its riot – Brazilians acting desperate now – with their defence gone and their attack aimless – #Samba is for the #Rio Carnival now!!

11 hours ago
Brazil Vs Germany – had it been a Cricket World Cup match, it would have been labeled fixed by now.

10 hours ago
Brazil Vs Germany – will Germany be able to win its 4th World Cup? Will it be an all European final or Argentina will score?

10 hours ago
Brazil Vs Germany: Scolari is a sad man. I am as well. Brazil didn’t deserve this ouster.

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BRAZIL VS CHILE: CHILE DESERVED THE WIN AS WELL

It was Yellow Vs Red – it was the sea of Yellow in the stadium – in the biggest sports event being held in Brazil – making ‘Yellow’ the global flavour – in India as well – Brazil were unbeaten against Chile at home so far – and they remained unbeaten – the ‘Yellow’ crowd was humming loud – as heard and visible on my TV set.

Brazil Vs Chile – the first match of the ‘Round of 16’ of the FIFA World Cup 2014 was overall a quality World Cup game of 127 minutes – (45+1+45+3+15+1+15+2) – obviously excluding the minutes of the Penalty Shootout.

Brazilian attack and Chilean defense were at par. In fact, if we see the match as the World Cup enthusiasts (that I am) and not as die-hard Football fans, it was a dramatic game where Chile bettered their game beating expectations while Brazil were not what a Brazil’s fan expects from the team.

But then the outcome of the game is also day-dependent some times and it was one of those days and we can give Brazil the benefit of doubt. And we need to see it in the context of the brilliant Chilean defense and their game, especially in the second half, that frustrated every move of Brazil, including some very close ones.

The first half was good for Brazil with first goal, though not a brilliant one, coming early in 18th minute. Though Brazil kept their game up, outshining Chile but the Chile equalizer was a brilliant goal by Alexis Sanchez in 33rd minute.

Then it was for the sluggish moments of the second half. Whether it was tactical or temperamental cannot be said, but the game slowed down painfully. Brazil’s show came down. Chile picked up, until Brazil started mounting up the pressure that begin after 70 minutes and sped up post 80 minutes.

And it can be said the sluggish moments were compensated well in the last when the 1-1 tie pushed the game to the extra time (ET) that also failed to produce any result after 33 minutes of the game (15+1+15+2).

And now it was time for the Penalty Shootout – requiring steely nerves, and luck of the day as well.

A Penalty Shootout is always a sad end to a great Football match, and especially in this case, where Chile played much better than expectations, it hurt. In spite of the elevated game, where they were equal claimants of the victory based on the show of 127 minutes, Chile were knocked out 3-2.

The Brazilian goalkeeper, Julio Cesar, emerged as the winning player for the country though he saved two goals, same as the Chilean goalkeeper. The last kick by Jara hit the post and Brazil won.

So, now, the yellow is to spread – and the humming is to get louder when Brazil play their next match – world’s favourites advance to the next round – but Chile deserved that as well.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

BRAZIL VS CHILE: HOW THE FIRST ROUND OF 16 MATCH PROVED OUT TO BE A WINNER FOR WORLD CUP FANS

June 28, 2014 – 9:30 PM India Time

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – to begin now – Brazil unbeaten against Chile in WC finals at home so far – let’s see today – crowd humming loudly, as my TV shows

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – round of 16 rounding up

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – yellow Vs red – sea of yellow in stadium – yellow is d global flavour – in India as well – Brazil miss 1st chance

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – 1st 10 minutes – Brazil looking up relatively so far – Neymar having some trouble

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – Chile get 1st close chance in 11th minute

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – a good hair-raising Neymar moment – Chile’s 1st yellow card – Brazil free kick in penalty arc area

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – Brazil get 1st #goal and lead – stadium erupts – Brazil 1 Vs Chile 0

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – 18th min gave Brazil their 1st #goal by David Luiz

14h – Brazil Vs Chile – 1st 25 minutes – Brazil clearly up – by game, by 1-0 lead

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BRAZIL VS MEXICO: HOW THE MATCH UNFOLDED FOR A WORLD CUP ENTHUSIAST (WHO IS NOT A SOCCER FAN)

Though it was not on my radar as didn’t fit in my schedule of the day but the name Brazil was a strong motivator and I could somehow manage to catch the Brazil’s fight with Mexico post 30 minutes its start (12:30 AM India time, June 18).

And what a blissful experience it was. In fact, it was a better extension of the ‘England Vs Italy’ match viewing experience with Mexico taking its game to higher level to become equal rival to the world’s most beloved Soccer team, Brazil.

I am not Soccer fan but I love the FIFA World Cup, more than the Cricket World Cup. This is how the brilliant 60 minutes of the Brazil Vs Mexico match unfolded (yes, with the combined 4 minutes of the extra time as well).

There were multiple rapid strikes and attacks to the goalposts and both teams efficiently tried to outdo each other but Mexico’s defense came out to be better and it was led by its goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, the hero of the day, not just for Mexico, but for the fans of the World Cup and Soccer, and he found respect from the rival of the day as well, a well deserved one.

Even if I could not watch the complete match, during the period I watched the match had four beautiful and miraculous moves by Ochoa saving the Mexicans and frustrating the Brazilians who could not score till last. The growing frustration was visible on the face of Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Brazil coach, as the match was nearing its end.

Both teams charged with the ball multiple times and were able to keep the ball in other’s half, in the area of penalty arc, for quite a significant time. In fact, I found Mexico doing better here though Brazil caught up later.

Mexico attacked superbly and Ochoa proved a wall for Brazil – an equal show – a fine game – a day of Mexico indeed – Mexico equaled and were better at times, frustrating Brazil, leaving them goalless – a true world cup game.

Next game in my prioritized list is Spain Vs Chile at 12:30 AM India time tomorrow. Spain, the defending world champions, need to deliver and score a handsome victory in this match to bounce back, to remain in the league, after their dismal show in the game against the Dutch.

It’s time for some good moments, some quality TV viewing time..

Enjoy the game. You don’t need to be a soccer expert for it. Football was never my first love, yes, but the FIFA World Cup is different.

The motion, the action, the crowds, all so volatile, all so paced up, like the high-pitched notes of every type of foot-thumping music – its so charming, so loving, so captivating.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THANK YOU MR. PARRIKAR

Going by the reports, the Goa government junket (of ministers and MLAs) to the FIFA World Cup is no more the Goa government ‘junket’. It stands cancelled / modified now.

Cancelled, as the trip will be funded by the ministers and the members of the Goa legislative assembly (MLAs) now in their personal capacity! Modified, as the trip is still on. But, anyway, that is just playing around the words.

The baseline is, the taxpayers’ money is not going to be wasted on this ‘pathetically’ conceived ‘exploratory study’ sort of tour.

Obviously, it came after its due share of humiliation and political manifestation that could have been easily avoided.

But given the past track record, and his good name (with the legend of being a chief minister who still drives his scooter), Mr. Manohar Parrikar should be given the benefit of doubt and should be duly thanked for listening to the voices and taking this ‘in time’ decision.

Yes, the trip is still on, but the Goa sports minister has withdrawn his name and four other BJP members and one independent MLA will pay from their pocket to enjoy the Brazilian hospitality.

So, we can say the junket has been junked, rightly and in time.

Whatever went into – the delayed conscience of a good human being-cum-politician-turned-chief minister Manohar Parrikar – or the BJP central leadership pressure with Narendra Modi on a ‘cleanliness’ drive – or the pressure of mounting criticism by media, social media, civil society and political opposition – the decision or the ‘U-turn’ by the Goa government after the strong defense by Mr. Parrikar came just a day later, yesterday – and therefore, Mr. Parrikar deserves to be thanked, even if he doesn’t come forward to clear his position.

I have been an admirer of him and was feeling bad while writing the satirical piece* on the junket day before yesterday. And therefore this decision just in a day has come as a personal relief.

Every prime minister is not as strong by his position as Narendra Modi is. Same can be said about chief ministers.

Manohar Parrikar is not as strong a chief minister by his position as J Jayalalitha or Mamata Banarjee or Naveen Patnaik is. And we should not be surprised if this whole ‘FIFA junket’ exercise was an imposed idea sort of thing that Mr. Parrikar could not ‘junk initially’.

But, ‘all’s that ends well’! It’s clear now.

And thanks for that Mr. Parrikar!

*GOA MLAS JUNKET TO FIFA WORLD CUP: FRUGAL! SINCERE!
http://severallyalone.blogspot.in/2014/06/goa-mlas-junket-to-fifa-world-cup.html

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

IT’S FIFA WORLD CUP TIME AGAIN, EVEN FOR A FAN WHOSE FIRST LOVE WAS CRICKET!

During the college days, I was a crazy cricket fan. Playing cricket, it was like day in, day out, whenever the time and the elders in the family allowed.

Though playing took backstage with increased academic rigour after the college, the interest remained, with watching cricket, on TV, in stands, discussing it at home and with friends, interspersed with playing cricket occasionally.

Soccer or Football, whatever we say, not going into the technicalities of the nomenclature, was not that much in demand.

Yes, we did play football but it could never replace the craze for cricket, until….until the cricket fixing big started taking centrestage.

But all this while, the FIFA World Cup was a standalone, unique event that even pushed to the background the cricket-run whenever the tournament was on.

The motion, the action, the crowds, all so volatile, all so paced up, like the high-pitched notes of every type of foot-thumping music – it has been so charming, so loving, and so captivating.

And the time is again here. FIFA World Cup begins tomorrow 1:30 AM India time. The host Brazil is to take on Croatia. The opening ceremony is underway (June 12).

Its time for some good moments, some quality TV viewing time..

🙂

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

GOA MLAS JUNKET TO FIFA WORLD CUP: FRUGAL! SINCERE!

“Goa wants to promote football in the state. These ministers will see what are the infrastructure is required, how crowd is controlled. Government considers this as an investment.”
Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister, Goa

Great! Bingo!

After all, our dear beloved, frugal-styled IIT educated engineer-turned-politician, is an Indian politicians.

So, today, he took on the ‘irrelevant’ opposition bravely and came out strongly in the support of his government’s trip (tour/study tour/junket/business tour – whatever you want to term it) to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Junket sounds good and is in vogue, so let’s use junket here.

Well done, Mr. Chief Minister of the state where Football has been declared the state game.

The eminent members of the group are a good mix to draw the maximum mileage out of the junket so as to ‘convert/modify’ the Football culture into a Brazilian extravaganza pepped up with a Brazilian version of the Rio Carnival.

The six members of the group include Goa’s Sports Minister, Fisheries Minister and Power Minister and three other members of the legislative assembly. The group composition has been formulated after much deliberation keeping in mind the intended outcomes.

The Fisheries Minister has been tasked to suggest fish types and other sea-foods to be included in the dietary regime of Goa soccer players to make them stronger and agile in order to make them globally competitive.

The Power Minister would come with a report on how to infuse more power into the playing style of Goa soccer players on the line of the Brazilian football culture, something that runs in every Brazilian’s vein.

Both of them would work in consultation with the Goa Sports Minister.

The other three members have been tasked to assess the cultural aspects like the craze for Football in Brazil’s popular culture and the associated liberating song and dance events.

Whom the report will finally be addressed was doubtful until now, but given his strong support today, the chief minister is going to the chief examiner of the report.

What a grand plan and in just Rs. 89 Lakh! Frugal! Sincere!

What a vision for a country that consistently ranks among the lowest in the FIFA ranking (146, the latest one) – a country that, going by its present state of affairs of Football, cannot, for decades, even think of qualifying for the main draw of the FIFA World Cup!

From the abyss to the Zenith – only a visionary can dare to scale directly from the low of Indian Football to the high of FIFA World Cup – and Indian Football has found that visionary in the Goa chief minister.

The task of the highly qualified members of the group who have been rightly given preference over sports professionals and administrative members of Goa’s sports fraternity is demanding we need to accept as they have just a week or so (10 days probably) to carry out visits, collect data, watching soccer in action, analysing the crowd management (as the CM says), analysing the Brazilian Football culture and ‘observing and assessing’ the associated cultural aspects.

Gosh!!

What is heartening and encouraging is that an ‘alleged’ past failure on this line did not deter the chief minister. According to a report in the Times of India (June 12, 2014), a 2012 junket to England, with four members of Brazil group, sent to study the FIM World Motocross Championship to “explore the possibility of introducing motocross in Goa in a big way and also explore the possibility of hosting international motocross events in Goa in the future” (as the report says), has failed to produce any ‘tangible’ outcome with the state even losing the contract of hosting one round of FIM Motocross World Championship (as the report says).

But what a fighting spirit! The criticism didn’t discourage him. Mr. Chief Minister is back. And he would have certainly incorporated the elements from the learning into planning this one, as the available details (so far) tell us.

Bravo! Mr. Chief Minister! Keep it up!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/