The start of the World Cup marks a time of unbridled spirit and excitement for fans of the game all over the globe. Unfortunately this tournament has been marred by tragedy during construction of stadiums and multiple protests over government spending and FIFA imposed regulations. For the Brazil National Team, tragedy hit home earlier this week when the nephew of coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was killed in a car accident. Brazil are a favorite to hoist the trophy on home turf and will use this as something else to rally around.
Tarcisio Joao Schneider crashed into a truck on Tuesday morning in the city of Passo Fundo. This is Scolari’s hometown. Scolari also attended the funeral of his brother-in-law in late May. It is a reminder that there is much surrounding the World Cup outside of just the play on the field.
Scolari and his team have been addressing the Brazilians saying this is “our” World Cup. They have remained stable and confident in the face of adversity. Scolari said they just have to move on and face the difficulties while taking care of the first of seven steps today against Croatia.
There is a sense that this Brazilian team could be the unifying factor for the country. This is the time to take the spotlight and show that the so-called homeland of soccer is worthy of that nomenclature. It is unfair to say that the protests will stop and they could be more intense as the World Cup progresses and leaves town. In fact, the CNN Brazil Bureau Chief was hurt today when police tried to break up a demonstration in Sao Paulo.
Scolari and his players have kept a strong appearance in the face of widespread adversity, and they should demonstrate their will today against Croatia. This unwavering mentality and the play on the field could be a temporary unifying factor for Brazil.