Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Journalist says: "Brazil is ready for failure"

Today, it is almost unanimous among Brazilian journalists to say that Brazil is the favorite to win the Cup; few journalists dare to say the opposite.

Guilherme Fiuza writes a weekly chronicle for on-line magazine No Mínimo (which translates as "At the Very Least").
Probably because Fiuza is not a sports journalist (he usually writes about Politics), he was one of the few to write a negative criticism of the Brazilian team so far.
His column is not archived, so, here goes a rough translation (political references to President Lula were removed):

"Good bye, Hexa

Roberto Carlos took his jersey to the President, before going to Germany. There is not a trace of humbleness in the behavior of the players of the Brazilian team. Formerly, the visit to the Palace took place, if ever, when the team returned with the Championship. Nowadays, the battle is just a detail. Many Brazilians are saying that winning the Cup is not enough, it is necessary to perform a show. And there go the green-yellow Globetrotters with a perfect recipe for failure.

Millionaires and bored, the Brazilian players asked, for the first time ever, to stay in individual rooms during the Cup. No more of that routine of sharing space with underwears and snoring of a comrade. They are all celebrities, owners of foundations, highly profitable commercial products, true mobile NGOs. It makes no sense for their highnesses to travel the World in helicopters and jet planes and, when the Cup comes, have to share a room like in a scouts camp.

Cafu, the worst right-defense of a Brazilian team which became champion, is candidate to his fourth World Cup final. The achievement is indeed impressing, but it only matters to Cafu himself, to Cafu's family, Cafu's NGO and the sports almanacs. The presences in the team of Cafu and Roberto Carlos, who paid a premature visit to the President, are unsolvable misteries. They haven't played well for their teams for a long time, they don't have to win anything else, still they don't 'let the bone out' (a Brazilian slang, meaning someone who, like a dog who chews a bone long after the meat is finished, still tries to benefit from something).

Carlos Alberto Parreira, the coach, is fed up too. He already won a Cup, money, the World. All he wants is quietness. No quarrels, a roster without polemics, the team according to what the people want. But, as the team is convinced that they are going to Germany for a parade of celebrities, Parreira came up with a fashion team.

The team going to Germany is arranged very badly. Cafu and Roberto Carlos can't catch up with anyone, and in the midfield there is only one defensive player, the ancient Emerson. From there on, just jugglers. The so called Magic Square - Kaká, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Adriano - are used to run and score, with little ability to envision the plays. Clearly, an unbalanced team. But is going against the oba-oba (slang for 'excessive euphoria')?

Football is neither circus nor fashion parade. History shows that the beautiful football is the efficient football - remeber Zico, Rivelino, Maradona and Pelé. Magistral players, who never diverted one inch from objectivity. They always went for the straightest path to the goal, and the spectacular thing was the way how they opened the path.

But Brazil, the Penta, is fed up. The Trophy is not enough. Brazilians want to see Robinho cycling backwars, Roberto Carlos in deadly jumps, Ronaldinho looking one way and kicking the other. Like a Parreira Fashion Week.

The recipe of failure is cooking."


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