Can Brazil Find Redemption At This Summer’s World Cup?


If you check back on Brazil’s history in the World Cup you’ll notice that they sometimes need to endure failure before coming back and taking the crown.

The first time the South Americans won the Jules Rimet trophy was back in 1958, when they had the talented stars of Pele, Nilton Santos, Vava and Garrincha in their ranks.

But in actual fact, they were heavy favourites to win the tournament eight years earlier when they were the tournament hosts.

Everything looked to be going to plan as they topped their group, before demolishing both Spain and Portugal on their route to the final at the Maracana.

In that final, they were up against confederation neighbours Uruguay.

It was all going fine as Friaca gave the home side the lead just after half time. The Brazilians were being treated as winners before the game had even kicked-off and the opening goal would have sent Rio into a carnival like atmosphere.

Then the gods decided to have fate intervene. Uruguay would equalise in the sixty-sixth minute and then on the seventy-ninth minute Brazil’s world caved in on itself.

Penarol right winger Alcides Ghiggia picked the ball up and drove into the box before taking a shot at goal. The effort looked fairly innocuous, yet inexplicably Brazilian goalie Moacyr Barbosa wasn’t ready or in the right position to stop it going in at his near post.

The 190,000 odd in the Maracana fell silent as the thought of not winning their home World Cup started to sink in and the country pretty much went into mourning.

Brazil’s failure in 1950 would make the triumph all the sweeter as they perfected an exciting attacking style that would dominate international football for the next twelve years. They won three out of four World Cups between 58′ and 1970.

In 1998, the Selecao were once again considered to be overwhelming favourites. They had won the cup in USA 94′ and this time they had Ronaldo, the most gifted striker of his generation.

O Fenomeno‘ was amazing in the 98’ tournament scoring four goals as he led his nation to the final and they expected the hitman to gun down hosts France and bring home the trophy.

But fate again decided on a different ending.

Ronaldo would suffer seizures leading up to the final and wasn’t initially named in the starting eleven. The world’s media went into meltdown trying to get to the reasoning on why the world’s best player wasn’t playing on the greatest stage of them all. Then all of a sudden a new team-sheet was handed over and Ronaldo was to start the game after all.

Alas Ronaldo was in no fit state to play and the pressure on him had clearly affected his mental and physical state. He would be a passenger as Zinedine Zidane would capture the gold trophy for France.

Ronaldo would suffer from plenty of devastating injuries in the next four years and when the World Cup came around again in 2002, he along with his country were written off as outsiders.

The superstar striker managed to turn it all around and get his own taste of redemption as he scored eight goals and helped secure Brazil’s fifth World Cup title. He’d grab a brace in the final and his grin once again lit up plant earth.

Four years ago, Brazil would host the biggest cup competition for the first time since the 1950 disaster.

Things were looking good as star man Neymar struck four times in the group stages. They would then knock-out fellow South American sides Chile and Colombia. The quarter-final victory over Los Cafeterias came at a cost as Neymar left the field on a stretcher with a broken bone in his back diagnosed after the game. That injury would keep the talismanic figure out for the remainder of the competition. 

The shocked Brazilian side then had to face Germany without their main star and they were savagely beaten by seven goals to one.

Every German attack seemed destined to finish in a goal and the Selecao’s defensive line just crumbled under the intense pressure and couldn’t win a tackle or keep the ball.

Once again Brazil were humiliated and humbled on their own turf with the rest of the planet watching on.

Now just four years on and there’s once again a whiff of redemption in the air as the Samba stars arrived in Russia.

Neymar missed the last few months of the league season in France due to injury but he’s returned on the eve of the World Cup and looks to have fully caught up with the speed of first-team international football again. The forward could be seen as this year’s Ronaldo, the player that needs to shine and once again prove himself in the yellow jersey of his nation.

In Gabriel Jesus, they have a clinical young striker. While Roberto Firmino gives them a harder working attacker if that’s the tactic that’s needed to break down defences.

Goalkeeper Alisson is a world-class shot-stopper and you need to have a good keeper if you want to go far in this competition.

They’ve got experience at the back with Thiago Silva, Filipe Luis, Miranda and Marcelo all in the pool.

In midfield they’ve got a bit of everything. You’ve got ball winners, passers, creative forces and pace too.

You won’t find many squads as strong or as well balanced as the Brazilian one.

The man charged with picking the right starting eleven is Tite.

Chelsea man Willian has been quick to praise the fifty-seven year old coach:

“He is the one who changed a lot of things. That’s why Brazil now play great football. With the ball. Without the ball.”

“Off the pitch, he is a great guy as well. Great manager. That’s why Brazil are in this position now.”

Tite has pulled Brazil up from the despair of 2014 and is inspiring them to create history in Russia and claim their sixth World Cup.

As we know, Brazil are a proud nation and they don’t take defeat well. They seem to use previous failures as energy to spur them on to their next triumph.

You shouldn’t bet against them doing it yet again this summer!

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