Brazil ended the national bleeding on Saturday, when they lost the third place match to the Netherlands 3-0. As fans in the stands where less than enthusiastic, the locals finished their World Cup bid in disastrous fashion.
The crowd present at the Estádio Nacional in the nation’s capital, Brasilia, handed down the ultimate verdict on how they thought the Seleção did during this World Cup. The winners of the match, the Netherlands, received a standing ovation as they left the field, following the medals ceremony. Brazil received boos from their fans. Devastating.
To put things into perspective — for those who do not understand the depth of the despair both players and fans feel right now — Brazil is the most successful national football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup. As such, great things are always expected of the Verde Amarela, so a failure such as the one they suffered on their own soil is simply unacceptable.
Since the World Cup inception in 1930, Brazil has won five World Cup titles, the most of any country. They also have two second place finishes, two third place results, and two fourth places, including the one in 2014. The players were clearly defeated, as they left the field in which they had hoped to give their fans the thrill of a lifetime, but it was far from dreamy.
When Germany handed Brazil the humiliating 7-1 pounding — the worst in their long history — not many that were watching could believe their eyes. That high of a score is unusual in football, but shocking when it is handed down to Brazil. In general, the Verde Amarela is the one capable of scoring seven goals on lesser opponents, not the other way around.
For the Netherlands, it was a completely different story. They ended a brilliant World Cup campaign undefeated — only losing to Argentina on penalties in the semifinal. In 2010, the Dutch were the runner-up to current champions (for a few hours), Spain. In 1974 and 1978, during the Netherlands golden era, the Orange lost back to back finals to Argentina and Germany.
On Saturday, the Dutch were clearly on a mission to end strong — even if their coach, Louis van Gaal, questioned if the third place match was necessary. In the early stages of the match, Thiago Silva — who was coming out of a yellow card suspension — had to grab Robben when the Orange out ran him, earning him a penalty as the Netherlands players asked the ref to hand the red. Silva got a yellow.
Later on, Blind scored the second goal after Luiz failed to clear a cross, and finally in additional time, with the game winding down, Wijnaldum put the last nail in Brazil’s coffin with a goal from inside the area.
Following yet another disastrous World Cup match in front of their own fans, Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari remarked:
“It was supposed to be an even match but after the early goal things started going their way. I don’t think we played that bad. The players fought hard from the start. They created chances, so it’s difficult to lose 3-0. But they deserve all the credit in the end, they reached the semifinals.”
Brazil was booed after another poor performance against the Netherlands, and not many could not feel bad for the players when Arjen Robben thanked the crowd and received loud cheers:
“I would like to thank all people in Brazil for their great support. For us it was the best way to end this tournament. We fully deserved third place the way we played. It’s a very big achievement.”
Brazil will come back eventually and once again win in the World Cup, there is no doubt about that. However, it may be years before the Torcida and the players that made up the 2014 Brazil national football team can put this episode behind them. They managed to make people forget about the Maracanazo, which millions thought was the most devastating loss the Verde Amarela had ever suffered.
[Image via Twitter]