Brazilian Unsportsmanship At U-17 Friendly

I saw this video the other day and was not surprised by its content.

Setting. U-17 soccer friendly between Brazil and USA eventually convincingly won by the American 4-1.

That wasn't the end of it. The Brazilians protested referee decisions by simply not playing at one point in the game.

It was a shameless display of poor sportsmanship.

Alas, this is par for the course for the supremely skilled giants of world soccer.

Brazil is so accustomed to winning a sort of 'self-entitlement' has set into the mindset. When they lose, they tend to lash out petulantly and aggressively. It was the same scenario in 2010 at the World Cup during a loss to the Netherlands.

This behavior has always been there only it was overlooked because of their genius. We tend to do that with people in general. If they're smart or good looking we ignore glaring shortcomings.

Imagine if the Americans had done this the reaction around the world.

I think people should get used to it. The Americans are coming. Just like they've crashed the Russia-Canada party in hockey and sit comfortably as a world power in that sport, the same is happening in soccer.

Good for the game I say.

Will they win a World Cup in my life time? I don't know but they will be in the discussion I reckon.


At the 2013 Confederations Cup we got a glimpse at the enormous pressure Brazil is under to win the World Cup. It grabbed you through the screen and punched you in the gut and face it was so pulsating. The only thing that rivals it to my mind in North America is the heavy weight of national pride pressed upon Canada's men's hockey team. The country falls into a manic state of delirium expecting to win everything in site whenever our team enters a competition - particularly the Olympics and World Junior tournament.

We demand victory.

I wish we'd be this committed to excellence in other areas like education and health. Whatever. I digress.

Getting back to Brazil, I'm afraid people were ignoring the ugly side of Brazil during that tournament. While they gleefully spoke of "beautiful" soccer (which in contrast to past Brazilian teams it simply didn't measure up), the Brazilians were playing a rather brutal style of soccer with cleats up, diving at will and tacking ruthless.

That's how bad they wanted to win. And win they did.

The refereeing was second-tier at Confederations so they got away with it. While I expect Brazil to get some favorable calls, I don't think it will be as often as we saw at Confederations. It won't be a cake walk. The competition is fierce. I just hope it will be free of horrendous officiating.

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