Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Joga Bonito Brazil

It was the 1994 World Cup and the first time I started watching football. I was in my teens, still in school and since the games were at ungodly hours, I watched them mostly alone at home. At the beginning I had no favourites but the final was nearing and sides needed to be chosen. It was a good season to become a football fan.

Brazil was playing against Italy and they were two equally good teams. The choice was between the then not so good looking but awesome players team of Brazillians and the very good looking Italians. My friend opted for the Italians, I decided I preferred the Samba players.

After a final match that went into extra time and ended goalless. The winners were decided on a penalty shoot-out. Brazil beat Italy 3-2 that day and sealed my loyalty with their awesome game.

It wasn’t just them winning that got me to support them. We didn’t have social media or the internet then telling us who I should support or who had a better chance of winning. We had good old newspapers and RTMs annoying commentators who often said the weirdest things. Imagine hearing seksaaaaa ALL THE FREAKING TIME! 

And of course lots of lots of discussion at school. Ah what great times we had, talking about the matches.

So what has kept me a fan for exactly 20 years?

Its simply because of – Joga Bonito. Those guys don’t play the field, they dance on the field. Watch their legs when they play and you’ll wonder if they were practicing the Capoeira or the Samba on the field.

The Brazilians are so know for the joga bonito that it is often refered to as the Brazilian style of football. It means being creative and playing from your heart as a team.

Tele Santana is widely credited for the invention of the “joga bonito” by the vast majority of the Brazilian press. He believed that if the opposition scores five goals against you, your obligation is not to score seven goals, but to score seven "spectacular" goals. 
Every game is an all out attacking style, they rarely play defensive unless for tactical reasons and that’s why I love watching them play. I absolutely hate defensive style of playing with goalless matches. Drives me nuts and I’ll start mumbling – score all ready will ya!
And contrary to what people think, not everyone is a Brazil supporter. Actually I’m usually surrounded by people who rather see them lose – anything but Brazil!

So this time around I’m surprised I’ve got two fellow Brazil supporters at work ;p Pretty different from that iconic or controversial 2002 quaterfinal game where I sat in a room filled with 20 – 30 people from work who all supported England except for me, the boss and another colleague! Go google up Ronaldinho’s 32 meter awesome free kick and how he got sent off on an undeserved red card 7 minutes later!

Let’s backtrack to the 1998 finals – Brazil vs France.

I was quietly watching it with my dad. 1st goal, I was chanting no worries, we’ll get you. 2nd goal goes in and I was still going, we’ll get you! By the third goal, I’d silently slumped into my chair wishing it would end. I will never ever forget that match score in my life. Coz the next day I had lunch with one of my friends who was an Anti Brazil supporter.

Throughout the whole lunch, all I heard was 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! 4-0! For a few hours!

So yes its not easy being a Brazil fan, everyone thinks we will win, everyone hates us for that, and everyone thinks you’re supporting them coz they’re winners!

I’ve seen them win, I’ve seen them lost terribly, but no matter what win or lose, I’ve stood by them for 20 awesome years!

So my usual wish list for every world cup will be

Please, may we have great games, good games, no goalless draws, no referee blunders (yeah right), lots and lots of awesome goals, if possible no moving forward coz of aggregate, less injury drama (@ England players and Christiano Ronaldo), wonderful corner kicks, brilliant penalty saves and a awesome awesome semi and final games.

May the best team win and each match be determined by great matches!

Let the games begin!

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