Barney Ronay on Brazil’s Jogo colapso..
"Well, at least that’s one thing settled. It turns out Brazil’s footballers do know how to entertain after all. Watching the action in São Paulo city centre – the term is used loosely: this was not so much action as a formal, structured dance through Brazil’s football team – Germany’s stunning 7-1 semi-final victory passed in a kind of daze. “Cinco o seis? Cinco o sete?” called the yellow-shirted head waiter in a busy restaurant, curious more than anything else, craning his neck around a pillar to ascertain the exact scoreline in what was already after half an hour the most humiliating World Cup host nation defeat of all time.
.It is hard to think of a more eviscerating defeat in any sport, ever. World Cup favourites; hosts at a $12bn home World Cup. Plus of course throw in the preceding bluster, the ludicrous, liturgical furore over Neymar’s injury. Even from a notably mawkish and overblown group of footballers, this was a notably mawkish and overblown complete sporting implosion but then Brazil have always been innovators in football. This is the home of sports science, the bicycle kick, the flying full-back. And now here was a performance that went beyond the standard sporting. Welcome to Brazil, home of the jogo collapso..
“..It’s always sensible to resist the urge to extrapolate too much from sport, which most of the time simply mimics the shapes as story lines of real human drama. A complete sporting collapse is not a real collapse. This is nemesis, entertainment, operetta..
The collapse at the Mineirão was not a self-induced punishment, a cosmic moral judgement on Brazil’s tactical fouling in the last match against #Colombia. This is a classical misguided sporting morality narritive: reverse intuitive, outcome-specific, hanging by a tangible thread of random events. This moral aspect - the divinely corrective Germano-thrashing- just doesn’t stand up to reasoning. if it were true then the opposite would also be true: if defeat equals moral poverty, then by the same token victory must be evidence of purity, good grace and divine moral standing. Which, of course has never been the case in sport or life… For now though, this thrilling, baffling, continental scale World Cup rolls on, now with it’s own bespoke note of theatrical statistical- intrigue..”
Full article at The Guardian