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Brazil’s hope of reconciling the country thanks to its selection is frustrated in Qatar

Fans of the Brazilian soccer team gathered to watch the game on a giant screen in São Paulo, after this Friday’s defeat.ISAAC FONTANA (EFE)

A few minutes have passed since the World Cup favourite, the Brazilian team, was disqualified on penalties against Croatia this Friday. In a street parallel to one of the great avenues of São Paulo, where almost no cars have circulated since the game began, inconsolable crying can be heard in the distance. He is a boy dressed in the Canarinha jersey with tears coming to his eyes while his father holds his hand. The parent, who protects himself from the sun with an umbrella, explains: “He’s tired, he says he can’t walk. And yes, a little frustrated with Brazil”. Perhaps it was the first great disappointment of his short life. In a nearby bar, the moment in which Marquinhos missed the shot and the team was disqualified was experienced in a less dramatic way. Or the procession went inside.

There have been some outbursts, cries of disappointment, but suddenly the patrons, as if propelled by a spring, have risen simultaneously and each one has gone in different directions on their way to something else. Back to work, to the bus stop to return home, to think about Christmas or 2023, to see if they bring something good… The dream of achieving the sixth is postponed to 2026 and the wounds are licked in private.

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Jose Carlos, 59, returned head down to his work plunged “in deep sadness.” “We came from several victories, we have scored a goal and four minutes from the end they tied. Croatia has not been intimidated ”, he explained.

Buried has remained the hope of giving a historic victory to oh king Pele, who is still hospitalized at the age of 82, with a respiratory infection and undergoing treatment for colon cancer. There was also the hope that the sixth would contribute to a national reconciliation or at least to heal some of the wounds opened by political polarization and an electoral result that has left Brazil divided in two. Brazil’s last World Cup victory was two decades ago, shortly before Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva first came to power. His people dreamed of emulating the feat at the gates of his next inauguration for a third term, although Tite has already said that he would not travel to Brasilia whether they win or lose. Anything to depoliticize the team and the shirt.

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Lula precisely tweeted at the end of the meeting, encouraged the players and mentioned Neymar, a declared follower of Jair Bolsonaro, the president defeated in the recent elections by the left-wing candidate. “Brazil made an effort, Neymar scored a beautiful goal and the team deserved more. My congratulations to the players and the coaching staff. Let’s move on because in life we ​​can never give up,” said Lula, who will become president of the country on January 1.

After an agonizing match with a one-goal draw and overtime concluded, hopes were low. The Brazilian fans have been losing steam after the rush that Neymar’s goal has brought with which the Canarinha has gone ahead. Croatia’s goal when they were already close to the semifinal has left them dejected. Fearing the worst.

At the gates of penalties, Ramaiana Alexandrino, 34, was incredulous wearing the yellow shirt and with the five stars, one for each cup, on the shield. “I knew it was difficult, but I didn’t think it was that difficult. I never thought we would go to penalties. Now go find out. This is already a matter of luck. With that goalkeeper it is very difficult, he is a monster, one of the best, or the best in the World Cup, ”said this Palmeiras follower who criticized the number of passes that hers have lost.

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She has watched the match alone. But the majority were in groups that shared a barbecue, with a beer or an acai while they followed the game on one of the four televisions strategically placed to follow each play from any corner of the venue.

As soon as the game has been sentenced, Alexandrino has left like lightning to resume his work in a nearby laboratory. The day before, a taxi driver joked about the Brazilian custom of freeing employees so that they can enjoy the Canarinha matches in order to maintain labor harmony and create fans. “Be sure that if Brazil wins, no one goes back to work, that it’s Friday and then there’s the Argentina game.”

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