Daily Cup Check: Day 25
Brazil knew that Neymar didn’t play in defense, right? Apparently PSG is going to have to go back to Inter and tack on another 390 million to Thiago Silva’s price tag. I mean, he’s obviously that important…
Germany 176 – Brazil 1
I think we should go to noted soccer expert The Iron Sheik on this one. What did he have to say?
Germany fuck Brazil in the ass
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) July 8, 2014
Well, I can’t put it any better than that. No matter how long you live, you may never see a more stunning international result.
Sure, it could have been argued that Germany should have been favorites heading into this, both based on form in the tournament and quite simply having more talent than the Brazilians, especially with Silva and Neymar down (I really can’t believe I wrote that sentence, and just how clear the difference was even before the game started).
But no one saw that coming. I’m trying to think of other results anywhere near that shocking. USA over Portugal in 2002 is the personal choice, but the Portugese ended up going out in the first round as Luis Figo had about seven minutes of rest after the Champions League Final that year.
South Korea’s run to the semis of that tournament, but they never had a result this surprising as they were handed their quarterfinal win over Spain by the ref. Greece’s win in Euro 2004? Maybe. But that’s more of a tournament long surprise.
I guess we should have known something was wrong, though not this wrong, with just how unimpressive Brazil had been all tournament long. This was not the Confederations Cup winners, a tournament it now looks they took far too seriously and we all made far too much out of. It’s hard to to think of anyone from that lineup outside of the backline who had a marvelous year with their club.
Even Neymar was up and down with Barcelona. Paulinho struggled to get into the Spurs side. Ramires was a squad player for Chelsea. Hulk froze his ass off in Russia (and I think he just took two unnecessary touches again). Fernandinho was excellent with Man City, but I don’t know what happened here.
The disorganization of Brazil’s midfield and defense was Seussical. I guess that’s what happens when David Luiz is organizing it. Even before Germany ripped open the wound and bathed in samba blood, it was amazing the amount of times Fernandinho and Gustavo both ran into the same space or at the same player and then left the entire midfield exposed behind them.
With Maicon and Marcelo always pushing forward, it looked more like odd-man rushes in hockey than football. Once the panic set it, Luiz started running around like Roger Rabbit after a touch of the creature. That only left the Brazilians more exposed. And the Germans were able to do this with basically five attackers, as Schweinsteiger could have played in a lawn chair and neither of the fullbacks had to get forward.
I guess I’ve gone on too long without praising the Germans, as is my way. You can’t get any more ruthless than that, that’s for sure. They beat the Brazilians to every spot and every ball. Their second goal was the perfect example, where three or four Germans have their marker in their wake. It looked like they had six extra guys. But they were just given so much space to find.
A word on Thomas Muller here. He’s not all that fast. He’s not a great dribbler. I don’t even know that his touch is always that good. But he’s always there, isn’t he? He’s just always in space, and he’s always finding it, and he never misses. His brain is faster than anyone else’s feet. It’s bewildering to watch, as you swear you never see him and there he is popping up free six yards from goal a second later.
The questions Brazil will ask themselves from here are going to be deep. They gave up on their samba legacy for the functionality of Scolari. Scolari’s winning side of 2002 actually wasn’t all that flashy either, and it had more talent than this one.
Brazil was supposed to be a buzzing hive that was greater than the sum of their parts. They were supposed to press and press and press and then counter in rapier-like fashion. Did they ever? The only thing they did consistently in rapier-like fashion was shoot glances at Hulk when he dribbled the ball over the end-line for the 17th time in a game.
Hockey blogging friend Pension Plan Puppets (it’s a Leafs blog, follow on Twitter @mlse if you want to feel better about whatever team you root for) pointed out the deeper questions, in that Brazil plundered its treasury, sold its soul, watched their people revolt, possibly fissured a nation all to make up for a heartbreak 64 years ago and what they got was a six-goal loss in the semis that could have and should have been by 12.
I guess in the end this just wasn’t the Brazil team we have become accustomed to. It was crippled by the loss of one player, and should it be? Neymar isn’t even the third or fourth best player on his club team, but he holds up the biggest footballing nation in the world?
It was a side that didn’t have a striker, didn’t have an alternative to Hulk or any of its midfielders who were underwhelming. The rest of its true class was in central defense, and one of those was David Luiz, a defender Jose Mourinho decided he didn’t need. Maybe that should have been a clear note for everyone.
As for Germany, this is the culmination of everything Joachim Loew has been building toward. He wanted a side that could play at pace and creativity. It couldn’t have offered more of either today. The won’t get such space against either a Van Gaal side or one with Javier Mascherano in it. But they don’t need this many chances to make you pay. Everyone’s on notice.
Awkward Analyst Of The Day
Well it has to be Mike Tirico and Alexei Lalas crammed together in the panic room, no? Tirico never wanted to be that close to Lalas and probably will ask for a raise.
Player of the Day
DON’T LET ME DOOOWWWNNNNN… KROOS!