This was a match to forget. You are Brasilian. This was the consolation prize. Your team missed. Third place and a medal to take home. You have none.
These are the thoughts running through every Brasilian’s head as of 5pm EST Saturday, July 12. Brasil squandered their last chance to take home a medal and salvage some of their national pride after the 7-1 mauling that Germany delivered last week. This was a match that showcased the very best of European football and the lack of imagination and creativity in Brasil. The advertising boards suggested that this was the last chance for Luis Felipe Scolari to keep his job and they weren’t wrong as he has officially been sacked as Brasil’s manager. This was Louis van Gaal’s last chance to make a mark on the Netherland’s team before leaving them for Manchester United, and he did. The scoreline of 3-0 does not completely reflect the level of wastefullness by both teams, but it does accurately portray that the Dutch were better at creating chances and then finishing them off.
Granted, the referees helped with some truly awful calls, but the Dutch were more efficient on the night, and that is something that Louis van Gaal has been advertising about his national team. They are solid at the back, conceding few goals, and they are ruthless up front; where they create dangerous positions that allow them to get fouled and win spot kicks.
Brasil did play some attractive football at times, like they are expected too, but it feels like under Scolari, Brasil has turned from aesthetes into monsters on the pitch. This was not what was advertised for the world going into the World Cup, and it is something that Brasilians will find hard to forgive. Losing to Germany and the Netherlands would have been accepted, if they had lost playing jogo bonito. Instead, the lost in a way that saw them turn into Scotland of the 80’s. Fouling, getting fouled, focusing more on physicality than aesthetics.
This is unforgivable to Brasil.
In 2 years Brasil will have a chance to make up for this failing at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, and the whole country will be hoping that they take that chance when it comes around.