Let’s talk about advertising for a second. The first semi-final match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup was billed as the penultimate match-up between the rising European Kings, since Spain has most obviously been dethroned (more on that in a bit), and the favorite team in South America, if not the world.
Brasil surely has a lot going for it, and as one ESPN article stated earlier this week, the English gave the world football, the Dutch are the brain of football, but Brasil is football’s heart. Obviously as a Scotsman I take umbrage to certain facets of this article. There is roof to argue that the Scots invented football, and that we are far more passionate about it than anyone else, but put in context of this World Cup and it kind of makes sense. Brasil is almost always advertised to be the home of the best footballers in the world, Messi and Christiano Ronaldo aside, and is advertised to be the home of the most passionate fans.
Anyone who watched the game last night would disagree, or not. They would disagree because their most efficient striker of this generation has been shown no appreciation, even though he is the best option for Brasil out of a lot of poor choices. The would disagree because Scolarli seems to have lost his touch in man-management and completely screwed up the first half. And thirdly people would disagree because how can you love your team when the let in 5 goals in 18 minutes!?
Now, the flip side is the advertisers are right about Brasil being passionate because anyone who heard the vitriol directed at Fred when he was subbed off would think that he was a serial rapist or mass murderer based on their opinion of him.
The truth of the matter is that this was billed a clash of the giants and people were excited to see one of Europe’s top teams play, arguably, the best team South America. It was an amazing match to be sure, but on the night it was not anywhere near as close as advertised. This just goes to show, advertising in sports is a fickle thing, and while it may live up to the billing, there will always be some who think they have been gypped. Just as any Brasilian.