Personal World Cup reflections – part III

For those of us nourishing fears or hopes in regard to massive protests during the 2014 World Cup, entering the fifth day of the tournament, indicators seem crystal clear: by all accounts, the World Cup has, so far, been nothing but a tremendous success. Eurosport.com suggests it’s on the course to be the greatest tournaments of all time, presenting its case in six arguments:

# Goals aplenty: after eight games the 2014 World Cup has more than double the number of goals – an average of 3.5 per game – as its predecessor at the same stage.

# Shock results: Netherlands 5-1 Spain, Uruguay 1-3 Costa Rica. Say no more.

# No draws: attacking mentality and tactics have taken the upper hand of this tournament. Or, as Rio Report puts it: “We’re not sure if teams can’t, or won’t, defend. But we’re not complaining.”

# Big names performing: Robben, van Persie, Neymar, Messi, Benzema, Balotelli…

# Location: it’s in Brazil. If that means nothing to you, go check your pulse.

# Word is spreading: and these things have a way of turning into self-fulfilling prophecy.

There’s truly nothing like the World Cup. People gathering from all over the planet for a month of intensive interaction and drama. You are swept away, either you want to or not. I’m football, more than ever. Already trying to imagine life post 13 July.

The downer of all this is that Brazil, once again, is getting off the hook. Brazil, here to be understood as the Government, Parliament, Institutions. Brazilians have a short memory when it comes to politics: a splendid World Cup, and all the small and large, dramatic and low-intensity disasters on the way will have little impact. As will the fact that Brazil has spent more on preparations [sic] than previous four host countries combined. Oh, the Legacy…

On different social media, I’ve already started to see messages like “Suck it up, FIFA. Never doubt Brazil!”. It’s exactly these kind of attitudes that make me wonder if Brazil will ever truly evolve.

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