Monday, 14 July 2014

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

Now that the World Cup is finally over we can all get back to our normal lives. It sounds dreadful alright, but an event of this size and importance when finished must be mourned following all the stages of loss and grief, depression included. Especially for those who now have to resume watching a national league that fails by large to fulfill its potential, namely the Campeonato Brasileiro.

Mind you, a national team is only a reflexion of its local tournament. The Bundesliga, for example, is adored by everyone who likes watching good football for its organization and, despite the thorough domination in recent years by Bayern Munich, its evenness. The Spanish La Liga for some reason still has dedicated followers, but whenever the only two teams in it fail to win La Fúria accordingly flounders in an international level. In the Premier League there is all the money in the world and no national pride, being its winner often criticized for having 95% of foreigners in their squads. Internationally unknown, the Eredivisie is always revealing new great, and not exclusively Dutch, players. Italian Serie A ages itself year after year, purposely or inevitably. The Primera División in Argentina is a stage for incredibly passionate clashes, with only one or two technically gifted players winning the league for their clubs each season.

And the Brazilian Campeonato Brasileiro, poor thing, in spite of having amazing players throughout (so much so that at least two or three go each year to a “major” European league), the most passionate fans in the world (even though for them their teams are either the unbeatable champions or the crappiest thing in the universe) and now even 12 stadiums of FIFA standard (although only nine will be properly used in the future), remains trapped in a past where everything always worked out no matter how disorganized and chaotic it was.

Not Germany, but a deranged Flamengo who ended up winning the national league in 2009.

This happens because the same body who controls the local tournament also manages the national team, and their visions, methods and posture are clearly seen in each and every step of their administration. While in Brazil things are taken lightly after a 7-1 defeat in a semi-final of a World Cup at home, the Germans, after a few desillusions (aka not getting into the final) in a row, imposed a rule in which every major team in the country must keep a youth academy in order to develop new players in accordance to their own understanding of how football should be played. This is called planning, something that will hardly ever be seen in a FA which could choose any training ground in the country but deliberately opted for one where having a secret session was impossible and the temperatures were considerably lower than those in the venues the team was supposed to play. And that, my friends, for pure political reasons.

It would take a few other longer paragraphs to discuss the rotten insides of the Brazilian Football Confederation — on how a 82-years-old contributor to the dictatorship still rules it, on how he manage to anticipate the voting process in the organization just to elect his successor before a possible humiliation in the World Cup, on how this successor is under investigation by the federal police for fraud and many other things, etc. —, but since this article is only a passage from anger to bargaining the matter shall be left for another occasion.

The only hope now is that missing the chance to win their sixth trophy at home brings many changes to the football practised in and by Brazil. Not only for pity towards the grieving country, kings of the sport in yester-years, but for the humanity as a whole: remember that a sad Brazil is a place without carnival, samba and caipirinhas.

The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore
Strike another match, go start anew
And it's all over now, Baby Blue