July 10, 2014The Phantom of 1950 rests
When discussing soccer in Brazil, or as many in the world say football, nothing brings Brazilians together more than futebol. Football folklore has always depicted Brazil as this mighty giant to watch over when playing against them. In the 1994 World Cup hosted in USA, Brazil defeated Italy in penalty kicks to take their fourth World Cup trophy. In 1998 the hosts then France would defeat Brazil 3-0 in the final, but in 2002 Brazil again won the World Cup defeating Germany 2-0. Claiming their fifth trophy the most by any football nation. Afterwards Brazil would fall short in the quarterfinals twice, once to France in 2006 and the other to the Netherlands in 2010. These defeats although at the world stage were not considered this football nation's low point in history.
In the year 1950 Brazil hosted the World Cup for the first time in the wake of the aftermath of World War II. The World Cup also took a bit of a hiatus due to the fact the entire globe was practically locked in armed struggle. The setup to the tournament back then was made into four groups and the winners of the group were placed into a final group, which the winner of the group won the tournament. The Brazilians in 1950 looked as promising and confident as they ever could be. The Selecao in 1950 were sharp, technical and confident. Brazil defeated Mexico in the opening match 4-0; the only hiccup appeared to occur against the Swiss when they drew Brazil 2-2. The Selecao would finish their group on top with a 2-0 victory over Yugoslavia, which booked the hosts to the final group.
The hosts then entertained Sweden in the first game of the final group and made the Swede's feel the wrath of the Selecao. The Swedes were completely deflated by the hosts, 7-1 at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. The Verde-Amarela would also make mince meat out of Spain, defeating the Spanish 6-1. The Canarinhos looked poised to take the trophy at that point, Brazil only had one more game to play against Uruguay knowing that even a draw would see them to glory. The Uruguayans who were the winners of the first World Cup had drawn their first match of the final group against Spain 2-2 and won 3-2 against Sweden.
The final match between Brazil and Uruguay would echo in Brazilian minds and dreams for generations. Brazil would soon put their hands on the trophy during the final, scoring the first goal in the 47th minute making it 1-0 to the hosts. What would unfold 19 and 32 minutes later would silence an entire crowd of 170,000 and the voices of an entire nation. Uruguay scored in the 66th minute to tie the match and again in the 77th minute to steal the World Cup trophy from the hosts. Uruguay emerged victorious to achieve their second World Cup trophy at the expense of the hosts and Moacir Barbosa (goalkeeper then) who was the scapegoat for the loss.
Today although Moacir past away in April of 2000 can finally be exonerated for something he wasn't entirely "responsible" for. That 2-1 defeat back in 1950 has now been completely exorcised. After Tuesday's fever dream score line which if it wasn't for Julio Cesar could of been far worst than how it ended. Brazil's lowest low from 1950 has been surpassed and surpassed with flying colors. The Canarinhos were totally and completely humbled when they played Germany Tuesday afternoon in Belo Horizonte, losing 1-7. Many described the night in 1950 as a sad day in Brazil football folklore, but if that was a sad day and it echoed for generations after. The drubbing that Brazil received Tuesday will ring through the annals of football history for an eternity.
The semifinal Brazil played against Germany will be in the dreams haunting Brazilians for what can possibly be an eternity. Especially if the "phantom of 1950" loomed in Brazilian folklore 64 years later to today in 2014. Tuesday's 7-1 defeat has to echo in the history of Brazilian football forever which millions of viewers and football enthusiasts will always remember Brazil's worse ever defeat on Brazilian soil in their history.
Posted by Gio Franco at 10:26 PM