Brazil Come Good
This Brazilian side always had too much talent to be completely written off, but nobody expected the performance we saw last night. They had stuttered at times to reach the final, and relied on individual moments of brilliance but Luis Felipe Scolari’s vision came together last night with his Selacao looking more like a fluid unit than a bunch of individuals thrown together. The hype will go into overdrive ahead of next year’s main event but they have catapulted themselves into the top tier along with Spain, Germany and Argentina.
Spain have some thinking to do
Many had expected Spain to save their best for last for the second successive summer, and teach Brazil a lesson in the process, but they faltered beyond belief in Rio. The position of certain players will have to be questioned if La Roja are to retain their title next July, such as Alvaro Arbeloa and Fernando Torres especially, and even Jordi Alba if he keeps getting caught out of position. What all involved need is a rest, but its hard when every single player in pivotal to a big European club, and with Spain playing every summer since 2008, bar ‘11. Additionally, the over reliance on the Xavi/Iniesta axis and lack of consistent focal point up front are being to hamper the team.
For Brazil read Bayern
There were many similarities between Brazil’s performance at the Maracana to Bayern’s in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona. Brazil’s high tempo, physicality, directness and lightning breaks were too much for a tired Spain team to cope with. La Sellecion’s midfield was even the same as Barca’s and the tired approach and slowness of their passing were as evident last night as back in late May. With the same formation as the German’s, Brazil overran Spain in midfield and more clinical in front of goal, with the same outcome.
Memorable World Cup Awaits
If the last two weeks have really taught us anything, and especially last night, it is that we are in for one hell of a World Cup in Brazil. The colour, stadiums and atmosphere have all been ridiculous and those in the grounds at least have embraced the tournament no matter who was playing. The high pitched screams of Korea or monotone vuvuzelas are no match for the genuinely passion felt throughout the Maracana. There may have been protests around the country but the tournament, and particularly the Brazilian team, have done their part in promoting what should be a memorable World Cup next year, one we should make the most of ahead of what’s to follow it.
Rebirth of International Football
Watching the final and the Spain-Italy semi in Porto Alegre, what was evident, beyond the drama, atmosphere and colour, was the quality of the football. In recent years international football has taken a back seat at times to the Champions League, as the world’s best players have congregated to form super-clubs across Europe, but what was on show over the last couple of weeks was as fascinating and fun as anything seen in Europe all season. And if the visuals from Rio can’t motivate other nation’s to want a piece of the action next summer then nothing will. Brazil’s re-emergence to the forefront of the game might just have reinvigorated the international scene.