Tag Archives: sport

That’s All for Brazil in The World Cup 2010

Well, the Brazilian team is out, ironically at the quarter-finals, which is the same stage that it left the World Cup in 2006. Dunga, the current manager, did everything to change the culture of arrogance of Brazilian players and intrusion of the rigorous Brazilian press, specially TV Globo. He could change the behavior of the players, fought against the press, but he could not deal with the immaturity of some players, who were too much confident about the victory and lost their minds in the second half.

Now, Dunga will be over attacked by the press, by angry fans and by himself, maybe for not understanding well what was wrong during the preparation of the team. To give you an idea of the press criticism, the website of the main critic, TV Globo, is out of service since the end of the match until now (3 hours later), while several other Brazilian websites are running normally. It’s probably due to the curiosity of visitors to know the next round of this fight (Globo vs. Dunga).

At least, none of the remaining competitors won the World Cup 4 times (Italy did it but it was already eliminated), which lets us still with a relatively good distance as 5 times World Cup winners for 4 more years.

Losing this time does not mean that we will win next time at home, despite being already classified for hosting the next edition. By the way, every time that Brazil goes well in the World Cup qualifiers it goes terribly in the World Cup. It was like that with Zagallo in 1998, Parreira in 2006 and Dunga in 2010. When Brazil was terrible in the qualifiers it prospered, like in 1994 with Parreira and 2002 with Felipão. Now, what could happen without any qualifiers at all?

In fact, there is a lot of hard work to do. Now, that Dunga is out, it’s time to chose a new manager and this manager will be the most pressured manager ever, since Brazil will host the next World Cup. I know one person that can resist to such a huge pressure: Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The Brazilian Press Desperate for Bad News

It must be too hard to be the number one. The Brazilian National Soccer Team is currently on the top of the FIFA’s world ranking, closely followed by the Spanish team, and this position brings a lot of pressure to win this World Cup Edition. They won the last international competitions (Confederations Cup, America Cup, and first position in South America World Cup qualifiers), starring great and, sometimes, heroic matches, combined with the natural joy that comes with the Brazilian style of playing. So, it is not a surprise to be considered the favorite by 40% of 30 thousand people in a survey made all over the world.

But a lot of success brings a lot of negativity. The Brazilian press has been extremely critic about the team, and they obviously get frustrated when Brazil wins. In the great final of the Confederations Cup, for example, Brazil won USA by 3 x 2, but the fact that USA made two goals in the first half (but Brazil turned the match, making 3 during the second half) was enough to the press start criticizing the defensive system. Nowadays, they don’t like the player selection made by Dunga, the coach. Dunga’s criteria were simple: the player should:

  1. honor the Brazilian team uniform;
  2. be part of the team as an individual, not an individual in the team;
  3. be simple, fine with absence of luxury;
  4. be humble, accepting decisions of the coach; and
  5. be disciplined and master his tactical position in the team.

It ended up with a team without stars like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Pato; young promises like Ganso and Neimar; and undisciplined players like Adriano and Vagner Love. Actually, Ronaldinho  never was convincing when playing for the national team, always criticized, but now journalists want him, why? Ronaldo is fat, already stated as not prepared for the competition, but some still have said that he deserves being in the squad. Come on! Ganso and Neimar are doing very very well in national competitions, but, strangely, Santos is not wining recent matches. Are they unmotivated now? How can we deal with such immaturity?

Luis Fabiano is one of the main scorers, besides Robinho, but journalists are saying that he is having a goal drought because he didn’t score in the last two matches. Come on! The last two matches were against Zimbabwe and Tanzania during the preparation phase where players were scared to get hurt before their first world cup match. The press is forcing an individualistic behavior, emphasizing individual achievements, but the coach was clear since the beginning, that they are a team and they will behave like a team. The international press is less pragmatic, maybe more realistic, perhaps. New York Times stated: “Brazil has what one former World Cup player called “a luxury problem” – too many supremely talented players and not enough room to include them all on a team sheet.“.

I’m optimistic, I support 100% the Brazilian Squad and I can’t wait for this Tuesday match against North Korea. The players will finally have a chance to stop or at least minimize those critics.

When 55 Does Mean a Big Number

Last Saturday we were committed with what seemed to be a pleasant and relaxing tour through the interior of Belgium. A friend invited us to follow her family in an exciting bike experience, cycling during some hours to complete a route of 55 km called “De 8 Van Zemst”, a Flemish name that means “the 8 of the city of Zemst”.

Yes, it was a pleasant and exciting tour, but it was far from relaxing. Actually, it was surprisingly challenging because we never knew that 55 km “not walking” would be so tiring and painful. The good news is that we survived. The bad news is that now we need a pad to seat everywhere. I don’t know about you, but every time I restart practicing cycling I never get used to the saddle within the first week because of an annoying pain in my butt. Last Saturday I’m sure that I cycled the equivalent of a whole month in just 5 hours. You can’t imagine how it hurts.

Looking at other participants I was wondering if they were feeling the same pain. Well, they certainly would say “yes, we feel that pain” but I would hardly believe that, since they looked perfectly smiling, talking and joking sometimes. They are going to repeat this journey during seven days in their July holidays. Well, all we can do is wish all of them a really nice trip! We will be waiting for the news in a safe place in Louvain-La-Neuve.

What I’ve learned in addition is that there are dozen of other routes in the Belgian territory. The picture below shows the sign of our route on the bottom and the sign of other routes above. I can’t really understand the green one but it shows how well organized Belgian people are when dealing with trips and adventures. This is indeed a motivation to explore this nice country, choosing easy routes and progressively migrating to complex ones.

This post is one more opportunity to say Thanks to the family who gave us such a warm welcome. To celebrate and remember this experience we have produced a video with some images of the get together. Enjoy it!