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Brazil and the ghosts of the past

Brazil and the ghosts of the past

Posted by Juan Gavasa on June 10, 2014

On July 16, 1950, an estimated 200,000 people had gathered at the colossal Maracana in Rio De Janeiro to witness one of the most historical sporting events in modern history – the football World Cup final. The tournament was dealt a big blow with the two ominous World Wars causing an excruciating 12 year gap between the 1938 and 1950 World Cups.

Europe, the original home ground of football, lay in ruins; its streets and neighborhoods were decimated, and the deafening cacophonies of gun-fire and rolling tanks reverberated in the ears of the fortunate survivors. The smiles and hopes of many a zealous football enthusiast had turned to ashes in the wake of the wars. European nations had depleted a majority of their resources on the wars and the chances of hosting the World Cup were scant.


The future of the World Cup looked bleak, until a zealous Brazil vowed to extricate the sport from the abyssal mire in which it had been cast into during the wars. The summer of 1950 became one of the most historic summers in the history of the South American nation with over a million people attending the fourth FIFA World Cup. The Brazil national team was dominant throughout the tournament, except the much anticipated final against Uruguay when a shock defeat silenced the uproarious colosseum of Maracana.


Almost 64 years later, the World Cup returns to Brazil. However, the passage of over six decades hasn’t caused much changes in the football-obsessed nation. People still haven’t forgotten the infamous 2-1 drubbing by the Obdulia Varela-led Uruguayan team of 1950. They still want to see their beloved nation win the Cup in their own backyard.

It is not easy to represent the national colours of a country possessed with the magic of football, and the current team led by Thiago Silva is very much aware of it. He knows that people will be watching his every move on the field with scrutiny. Failure is not even an option; it will be do or die for him and his team in this year’s World Cup.

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