Brazil Win Keeps the Dream Alive but the Problems Persist Before 2014



by Zoe Birkbeck

If you were to walk about a mile and a half away from Estadio de Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, you would have been met with streets filled with protesters.

Signs decrying corruption, poor public services, and a lack of health and education investments filled the hands of those taking over the streets. The biggest question of the people: why are we trying to spend our countries’ money on the Olympics and the World Cup when we should be spending it on problems at home.

Millions upon millions of dollars have been pumped into the country in preparation for the 2014 tournament, and people still question whether it will be enough or not.

Only a month ago, Brazil’s friendly against England, to be hosted at the Maracana, was called off due to safety concerns in relation to its construction and refurbishment plans. While Rio’s government was able to overturn the decision, nothing has occurred to prove whether the money being used is being spent wisely.

So far the only thing that has been proven is that the government doesn’t have the population’s backing. With the government seemingly lacking in public relations, it looks as though they must seek help from the greatest power in Brazil; soccer.

Brazil, previously ranked 22nd in FIFA’s World Rankings, defied all odds, coming up against a Spain team sporting a 29-match unbeaten run. Backed by the fans, Brazil dominated the match, destroying what was known as the best team of the decade, 3-0.

All of this was done by a group of players whose fans were rioting within earshot of the stadium. Nobody had faith in the team, much like their feelings towards their politicians, yet in a matter of a few days, twenty-two men have won over the faith and love of an entire country.

While they haven’t been able to stop the violence, or solve the problems of the people, they’ve done something even better. The players have created a dream, a hope that everyone can hold onto. Everyone knows that in rough times, one takes refuge with the things they believe in. Being champions going into the World Cup gives one a lot to dream about.

Where to go from here though?

With the World Cup starting in less than a year, and a country in pandemonium, things aren’t looking so bright. Never has a team won the Confederation’s Cup and the World Cup in tandem, but as we’ve seen in the last few days; sometimes the odds can be defied.

Hopefully in the months to come, those in the streets can return to their homes, if only united by their hatred of the government, and their love for the Canarinho. Despite past events being against them, they boys in yellow have the opportunity to pull together their country and solve, if only temporarily, the issues that are currently tearing a nation apart.


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