In Brazil, only critics are heard these days. The people are dissatisfied with everything, with what they are and especially with the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, who completed his first six months on Monday and has disapproval of close to 60%. His policies for education have led him to engage in an eternal discussion with students and teacher unions.
On Saturday they left to march along the Oceanic Avenue, which is on the edge of the Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, more than 300,000 people, who protested against the cuts in education and the reform of the pension system.
That anger and disgust with Brazil have moved to football. Not even the ball is a symbol of unity. They say that the ball is the most important of the least important, but the situation is so critical that the atmosphere of the Copa America is minimal.
The tickets are very expensive and that’s why the local fans have found it more attractive to follow the Women’s World Cup distance, which is played in France, even though Brazil has been out of the competition. In addition, to those who are football fans, Tite’s team does not fall in love with them, they say that there is no nicer Jogo or cracks like before.
“Football has changed a lot. The players go very young to Europe without having shown their quality here and do not finish consolidating, “says Renato, a carioca who sells balls in Copacabana. He is 63 years old and has been making a living in this place for 40 years. For him, football is his life. He is a fan of Flamengo and he declares himself an admirer of Ronaldinho Gaucho, the last crack that according to him he wore the shirt of the Brazilian national team.
“This team from Tité has good players, but we are very far from the level of before. It is that we did not see again a Pele, a Garrincha, a Romario or a Rivaldo. Much less to a Ronaldo, the Phenomenon, and a Ronaldinho. We are a common team, “he says.
That same idea is heard repeatedly among soccer fans in Brazil. This is the country of football, in which everything rolls to the rhythm of the ball and in which in any city, in remote places, you can see people kicking a ball.
This is the highest exporter of players in the world, but since 2007, when he won the Copa of Venezuela, he has not held anything again. As for World Cups, the last one they won was Korea and Japan 2002, with a team made up of Cafú, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, among others, benchmarks unparalleled with players on the current payroll.
The toughest blow the Brazilian team has received throughout its history, even more than the famous 1950 Maracanazo against Uruguay, was the 7-1 thrashing by Germany in the 2014 World Cup. And that night at the stadium Mineirao de Belo Horizonte has not been able to replace many locals.
“That day football died. It was a shame. How not to remember it, “says Ana, a 30-year-old woman who spends a few days rest in Rio de Janeiro, but lives in São Paulo. He says that on July 8, 2014, he was in the stands of the stadium and after five years he still does not understand what happened: “We were very excited about winning at home, but the truth is that there was no team”.
The challenge for each coach that comes to the Brazil team is to win. This is a country used to that in all sports. From Pelé, one of the best footballers of all time, to Gustavo Kurten, who became the world number one in tennis, or Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest pilots in the history of Formula One, has led to the Brazilian becomes demanding.
Has made good management, qualified for the 2018 World Cup without problems, but his campaign in the World Cup was bad and in this Copa America his team has not convinced anyone. “We suffered against Bolivia, we beat Peru well, but we could not do it against Venezuela and Paraguay.
That’s not Brazil, “says Nenen, one of the greatest exponents of beach soccer in Brazil, winner of nine world titles and a lover of traditional football, a fan of Botafogo’s death. “I think Neymar really needs this team. I respect the players who are in the Cup, but he was the only one different. Now we depend on what you imagine Dani Alves, a lateral. That’s not Brazil, “he says vehemently.
In Copacabana, it seems that balls were raining and it is because many people are playing not to drop the ball to the floor and at a distance, you can only see how they rise and fall spherical of all colors. Football is always there, the ball can not stand still. “You can see soccer better here,” says humorously, who comes three times a week to train on these beaches.
“I play soccer on the grass, but what you learn on the beach is unique,” he explains. According to him, “the pretty jogo in Brazil can only be seen here. Everything is different, the technicians want other types of players and that is why the style of our players has changed so much. We need cracks, “sentence.
For Tuesday’s game against Argentina, at the Mineirão stadium in Belo Horizonte (7:30 pm, by Gol Caracol), there are not many expectations. Although for the first time a full stadium is expected (tickets are no longer available), the presence of Lionel Messi in the rival team scares. “They have not shown a good level either. I think we are even, but the difference is that they have a Lionel Messi, “adds Nenen.
The team that wins tonight ensures a spot in the final of the Copa América, which will be played next Sunday, at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The rival will leave between Chile and Peru, which will face this Wednesday in Porto Alegre.