No other nation is tied to soccer like Brazil. As a nation mourns after their biggest defeat at the hands of Germany, the reality of a third-place game begins to set in. The 2014 World Cup was supposed to be a triumph on home soil and now they are trying to shake off an embarrassment for one more game that is meaningless in the end. On the other hand, this could be a place for the nation to come back together and salute their players. It is a chance for unity, but the bitter taste in the mouth of Brazilians will still be fresh.
After the 7-1 loss to Germany, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari apologized to fans and took the blame. He called it the worst day in his life. Scolari knows that his career will most likely be defined by what happened at Mineirao Stadium and not for his 2002 World Cup title. Scolari said there are no excuses for the “catastrophic” loss, but life must go on.
David Luiz, the captain for the match, could barely make words as he cried after the loss. He apologized to the country saying that the team just wanted to make them happy. He said, “I just wanted to see my people smile.” Not that many players on Brazil’s squad had a good day, but Luiz was glaringly absent from defending on the first Germany goal.
There is still a chance that the third-place game on Saturday could be the start of the healing process. If the opponent is Argentina, it will be easy to rally for the match given the rivalry of the two nations on the pitch. That is highly unlikely at this point. Fans do not want to see this team take the field again at this point. Brazil has nothing to win.
For this nation that calls itself the home of football, the match against Germany is an embarrassment. They sometimes refer to the debacle in the 1950 World Cup as their “Hiroshima.” Now fans are saying this is worse and calling it humiliating and disgraceful. The third-place game will not help change that narrative.