Brazil holds the record for the number of World Cup titles. But in 2014, a 7-1 loss against Germany shook the country’s confidence, especially because Brazil was hosting the event.
As CGTN’s Paulo Cabral reports, this year, it’s hoping to restore its pride.
In March, Brazil and Germany met for a friendly match for the first time since Brazil’s 7 to 1 loss to the Germans in the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup.
This time, Brazil played well enough to win.
Fans and analysts said it can’t be counted as payback, but it did help to boost the confidence of some fans.
“It was just a friendly match. A real payback would be winning the World Cup in 2018, even if it’s not by beating Germany. If we win the next World Cup that will alleviate the 7 to 1 defeat,” University Student Miguel Machado, who was watching the match said.
Confidence in Brazil’s team has been building up since coach Tite was hired in June 2016.
“I thought this match would be harder. But I think Coach Tite is doing a good job with the players and results are showing. I think we’ll be better that I was expecting in the World Cup,” said architect Gabriel Castro.
After the 2014 defeat, Brazilian football went into a period of soul-searching with many questions and little answers for the decisive loss. Some attributed it to corruption and conflict of interests at CBF – Brazil’s National League – often accused of putting business and political interests above the sport.
ESPN Brazil’s sports analyst Andre Kfouri said the 2014 match did little to change Brazil’s football, even if the game itself improved.
“CBF, the Management of Brazilian Football, never changes. It’s always the same: too much politics. Inside the pitch the biggest change was when Tite came with a new mentality, more or less the same players but with a different vision, and he was able to turn everything around and to make in two years Brazil the team that it is right now”, he said.
The defeat to Germany in the 2014 World Cup – played here in Brazil – is often described as the most traumatic experience in Brazil’s football history, comparable only to the team’s loss to Uruguay in the final match of the 1950 World Cup – which also took place on home soil. In the 1950 Cup, Brazilians got to the final match in Rio de Janeiro ready to celebrate.
A draw would be enough to secure the tittle – after a victorious campaign during the tournament. But Uruguay beat the home team, 2 to 1.
And Brazil had to wait until the 1958 Cup in Sweden to become the World Champion for the first of its five times.
“Brazil still holds the record in number of World Cup titles and may win its sixth one this year but it suffered the most horrible defeats in the two World Cups it organized. The 2014 defeat against Germany brought the country’s football to the ground for us to realize that we may the country of football, that we may have the most titles, but that there are other great teams out there”, Jovem Pan Radio’s football analyst, Mauro Betting said.
The defeat in 2014 was a serious blow to fans. Over the last couple of years, fans confidence has been slowly coming back. The next test will be in Russia in June.