Brazil has won the World Cup a record five times and is the only team to have never missed a World Cup participation. As Brasil arrives in South Africa looking for a sixth title, I remember Brasil’s last title win from my experience of living there and being a part of them.
2002. I witnessed the whole magic of World Cup Football living in my favourite country Brasil and supported my favourite team(Brasil) led by my all-time favourite coach Felipão. I used to assemble with my friends well ahead of the match timings and all of us used to watch(on television) at the same place. Every nation, in every sport, have their own sentiments when it comes to their country playing. So are Brasilians. The whole country virtually stops when the match is on. Every office had a place where everyone assembled and watched the match. Every corner had a group. Every taxi driver watched it in nearby shops or locality(some of them had their own TV in their Ponto de Taxi). Every restaurant was full with people and with drums, whistles and other blowing instruments just like a stadium. In most places, snacks, coffee and other beverages were on the house to all who were watching. One has to see the whole atmosphere to believe it. Words cannot exaggerate these scenes. Look at the pictures and you will get a whiff of it.
I used to watch it with my group of friends at a particular lounge. Till semi-final I watched it with them, every match of Brasil, and Brasil was winning. The way Felipao handled the team my respect for him increased by the day and also I liked his interviews.
On the day of final, when I decided to leave a hotel where I had gone to visit someone, I caught a glimpse of the screen and the match was just starting. Not wanting to miss even a bit of action, I stayed back at the restaurant though I had to miss my group. But any group is good enough to watch a match in Brasil. My adrenaline flow was guaranteed. So I sat through the first half and the score read 0-0. In the midst of that crowd, I heard an announcement and thought my name was being called(as usual pronounced as V.a.r.a.j). When I approached the front desk, they were holding a call for me and it was one of my friends calling with a sentiment that I should be with them for watching the second half of the match as usual. I told them to explain it to the front desk guy and he personally drove me to the place where my friends were watching. He simply put the accelerator to the floor minding no signals(the road was deserted) and we reached in time and the front desk guy settled with us to watch the second half. And the rest is history(67th and 79th minute goals, both by Ronaldo). Brasil won 2-0, winning a record FIFTH title. My joy knew no bounds. The team with Luiz Scolari, Cafu, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos was great.
A must read for everyone is this interview from Felipão. Yes, coming second in Brazil is like being the world’s worst.
This is the time of …¨ sonrisa de esperanza y sollozo de pasion¨…. Means ….¨smile of hope and cry of passion¨ from Hola Business News.
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