(This is the original text in Portuguese. I want to thank Thiago Arantes for letting me translate and reproduce his text in this small blog. This piece also translates the feelings of some Brazilians towards the World Cup)
Brazil will be the greatest loser in 2014 FIFA World Cup. Forget about tactical schemes, technical analysis, call-ups, goals or refereeing. This defeat won’t come in a surprise loss against Belgium in the round of sixteen, in an epic quarterfinals duel against Italy, in a distressful semifinal against Spain or in a reloaded “Maracanazzo” against Argentina.
This defeat has already come. Brazil has lost the 2014 World Cup.
Brazil has lost it. What will happen with the country’s national team isn’t important at all. A history that changes only a little bit of what really matters. Brazil has lost the 2014 World Cup.
An event such as the World Cup is the chance of changing a country, rediscovering it, solving its problems and building solutions, even under the lame excuse of “what will the world think about us if every single thing is not working properly?”. It doesn’t matter; may our little thinking go straight to hell, as long as roads are built, as well as subway lines, bus corridors, elevators, hotels and, sometimes, a couple of stadiums.
The World Cup is, in the world we’re living today, what was the “World Expositions” in the 19th century. It was needed to straighten up the house to welcome our guests.
But Brazil today is on the run to retouch its make-up, pushes with a broom its mess under the carpet, locks the ill dogs in its lockers and sends their children to sleep early, as they know how children become so talkative when the guests come to a house.
There’s less than two months before the Confederations Cup begin, and the stadium that will receive the finals isn’t finished yet. It is that stadium in Rio de Janeiro, that emerged in place of Maracanã at the ridiculous price of R$ 1 billion (approximately 385 mi euros or 500 million dollars); and it will need reform for the 2016 Olympic Games.
(A parenthesis: all press reports about World Cup stadiums must expose how much they cost and who financed it; this is first and foremost public utility/information)
There’s less than two months before the Confederations Cup begin and no airports had any significant reforms concluded. Less than a year for the World Cup and taxi drivers speaking English are still a rare commodity, traffic signs are undecipherable for foreigners, hotels and public roads aren’t going to support the demand, mobility works of Manaus, Brasília – Brazil’s political capital – and São Paulo – Brazil’s economical capital – won’t be done; some were canceled, other postulated, all of them cost millions of Reais and it isn’t hard to guess who paid the bill.
A year and two months before the World Cup and the Local Organizing Committee’s president is surrounded by complaints. José Maria Marin is known to have spent his time as a federal deputy praising commissioners connected with Brazil’s military dictatorship, over-billed CBF’s new headquarters, and negotiated support for approval in CBF’s accounts by bribing his voters.
Meanwhile, FIFA’s general secretary Jerome Valcke said that organizing the World Cup would be easier if the country was less democratic and had less government sectors such as Russia, a country with a centralized power and less “snoopers”.
Organizing the World Cup would be easier, “monsieur” Valcke, if it was in the hands of different people.
People whose interests wouldn’t be sucking money from the country while benefited by tax exemption. Organizing the World Cup would be much easier if it were made with the intention to let the country win some small victories in areas beyond a football game.
The Brazil of Felipão, Neymar, Ronaldinho or Kaká, the “penta-champions” Brazil, be it with classy or dirty midfielders, may win or lose the 2014 World Cup.
The Brazil of 200 million people, the one that will wake up in July 14th, 2014 to work, this one will leave the World Cup defeated; no matter how the finals result.