BRAZIL: WHERE IT WAS, WHERE IT IS AND WHERE IT IS GOING TO BE
Football is an interesting game, and no doubt, it is the game that unites the whole world. It is the sport that has a universal language, spoken and understood by both the young and the old; spoken and understood by the blacks the whites, the Asians, the Americans, just name it. It is that game that involves twenty players and two goal keepers on the pitch, divided into two teams playing against each other.
This sport that was first played in England on 19th of December 1963 and governed by the Federation of International Football Association is quite lovely to watch. However, it is lovelier to watch when one of the teams is the Brazilian side. If there’s one football contest I would not be forgetting easily, then it must be the final match of the 2002 World Cup hosted by two Asian countries, Korea and Japan. It was a contest between the powerful German side and the amazing Brazilian side. It was on a bright Sunday, the last day in the month of June that year and the almighty Brazilian side fielded the likes of Marcus, Roberto Carlos, Roque Jnr, Edmilson, Lucio, Cafu, Gilberto Silva, Juninho, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Ronaldo. This interesting game began with both sides approaching the game with great caution – do not push too forward and do not leave the back too opened. The show of skills and talents in the midfield was mind blowing although the super striker, Ronaldo was not given a breathing space and so Germany was very much lucky to end the first 45 minutes without going down by a goal or more. Germany had some good attempts in the last 45 minutes on the game and I’m pretty sure that gave them a lot of confidence that the cup could be theirs – what a wish. Just in the 67th minute, the sharp shooting Ronaldo broke the deadlock with a fantastic rebound after keeper Oliver Khan parried a shot from the influential midfielder, Rivaldo. The super Ronaldinho is another player that made the final interesting for me as the dazzled the German players, my oh my, what a show of skill. Germany must have been hoping that an equalizer could come soon until the soccer wizard, Ronaldo, doubled the lead towards the final minutes of the clash. Anytime I remember that second goal, this mischievous smile curves my lips – poor Oliver. Brazil of all moments; a stunning victory it was for them as they were crowned champions for the 5th time.
When you talk about football, please, please and please, talk about Brazil. The Brazilian side may be currently lying in the 22nd position which happens to be their lowest ranking ever (as at the time this article was written), that doesn’t change my opinion of the fact that they were made for football and football was made for them. Just like it has been argued that the powerhouse of soccer is Brazil, as for me, I wouldn’t argue otherwise. With a total of 5 World Cups to their side, 4 U-20 World Cup trophies, 3 U-17 World Cup trophies, 4 gold medals in the Pan-American games (football category), 3 Copa America trophies, 3 Copa Confederaciones and 5 Confederations Cup gold medals, trust me, the best lies within.
You must have heard of these names Zico (Arthur Antunes Coimbra), Ronaldo (Nazario De Lima Ronaldo), Pele (Edson Arantes Do Nascimento), Kaka (Ricardo Izecson Dos Santos Leite), Ronaldinho (Ronaldo De Assis Moreira), Garrincha (Manuel Francisco Dos Santos), Romario (Romario De Souza Faria), Roberto Carlos (Carlos Da Silva Rocha), Rivaldo (Rivaldo Vitor Borba Ferreira), Juninho (Antonio Augusto Ribeiro) and many other Brazilian soccer heroes. Their various achievements cannot be understated; their individual skills and awards, if were to be comprehensive talked about, would make a textbook. Is it the goal scoring ability of the likes of Pele and Ronaldo or the number of FIFA awards? Is it the shot accuracy of the likes of Ronaldinho, Juninho, Roberto Carlos or the number or the countless victories they have recorded through those shots? Is it the physical abilities of defenders like Lucio, Cafu, Edmilson or the countless number of decisive tackles? Is it the shot stopping abilities of the like of Dida, Marcus or their fantastic saves? Just name it, these players or yesteryears were really fabulous and are forever adored.
This article would be incomplete if I forgetfully leave out these names Kaka, Robinho, Nilmar, Jadson, Dani Alves, Fred, Marcelo, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Luiz Gustavo, Oscar, Julio Cesar and the bright youngster Neymar (Neymar Da Silva Santos Jnr) who gave the Brazilian side their 5th Confederation Cup Gold medal with his superb dribbling skills, his accuracy when it comes to set pieces and his admirable strength.
In addition to the historical 1281 goals in 1363 games from the Brazilian football hero Pele and the achievement of winning the Ballon D’or at the age of 21 for the influential striker Ronaldo, would be the birth of another formidable Brazilian squad having the likes of the bright U-23 team the prospect-filled U-17 team (Marcos, Jeferson, Lucas, Eduardo, Gustavo, Abner, Robert, Boschilia, Mosquito, Indio, Kenedy, bright midfielder Mattheus, etc.) and the current team who won the confederations cup as we all know how young most of the players in the team are, despite this the Spanish side couldn’t run them over.
Finally, if I tell you that Brazil is one team to watch out for in the 2014 World Cup, just accept it. No doubt, the competition would be tough – we have the likes of Argentina, Spain, Germany, Italy and even my dear Super Eagles of Nigeria (I know you might want to laugh that over); Brazil will still prove that they are still here despite having two previous outings which they might not be proud of. On June 10, 2013, Arthur Antunes Coimbra (Zico) expressed his doubts concerning Brazil to the media but on June 30, 2013 that same side showed reason why we should reserve out doubts. Now take a look at the past footballers that donned the yellow shirt, take another look at the set of hardworking players that won the recent Confederations Cup and a final look at the U 17 squad, then look at me in the eyes and tell me that the god of football didn’t originate from Brazil.