Neymar and Thiago Silva out – what chance now for a team that has hardly shone thus far? Brazil are still favourites and playing at home. They have a good record against Germany. It all depends on how much the Germans want it, after having been come third in the last two world cups and making the semi finals for a record fourth time in a row.
I`m glad Brazil have made it to the semi`s and into the last week of the tournament. It`s always good for the home team to get through to at least the last 8 and if Brazil were to go out now they could at least blame it on the Colombian`s for taking lumps out of their top players.
Whatever happens the one team no one in Brazil (or much if not all of the rest of Latin America for that matter) wants to see win is Argentina and if it were to be a Germany vs Argentina final you can bet every Brazilian in the stadium and throughout the country will be screaming for a victory by Jogi Loew`s 11.
None of my Brazilian family, other than my 9 year old daughter who is an impassioned advocate for all things Brazilian, have wanted the Brazilian team to win this tournament. I also now hope that Brazil go out with dignity on Tuesday. It would be a catastrophe for Brazil`s infamously corrupt political elite to be allowed to profit from a Brazil win, when all the graft, incompetence and failure to deliver on their promises made during the bid would then be pushed aside in the glory of victory. That would be the worst possible outcome and only reinforce the old mantras of Brazil as `the land of unlimited impossibilities` and a country of the future `where the future never comes. `
The best legacy of Brazil is to be proud of the fact that the spirit of the Brazilian people and nation has produced some of the best football of any world cup in decades but now it’s time to start focusing on the legacy of one of the most costly and shoddily prepared for World Cups in history. Look at the disaster that is infrastructure in Brazil, despite all the promises and billions that were invested (and those that disappeared), for the protests to regain their momentum and the political class to be punished for their staggering ineptitude and indifference.
Brazil`s economy has flat lined again. Brazil is not the economic power house it has been held up to be and it certainly doesn`t deserve to remain in the BRICS index on the basis of its economic performance over the past decade. Brazil remains 88th in international rankings in terms of education, has crime stats that make many of its major cities resemble war zones, is not in the top 70 countries in the world in terms of quality of life, has a third world infrastructure and health care system, a massively over bloated bureaucracy, largely inept and corrupt political elite, a dysfunctional judicial system, less foreign tourists per annum than the city of Barcelona and all this despite being one of the countries blessed with the largest amount of natural resources on Earth, a great climate, stunning scenery and a hard working but unfortunately all too accommodating and fatalistic population. The spirit of the protests needs to be rekindled if Brazil is ever to be known for anything other than football, carnival and samba.
Buy a copy of my book, Brazil: The Good, the Bad and the Megafugly.