By Fred Kaweesi in Rio de Janeiro
Third-place playoff result
Brazil 0 Netherlands 3
Brazilian football is in a serious crisis!
And to prove that you had to listen to the insults and reactions from the Brazilian fans that watched the game at the Copacabana Beach Fan Fest.
Four days after suffering a 7-1 humiliating defeat to Germany that shocked the world and left home fans stunned and angry, the best response the locals expected was a solid performance in Brasilia.
Not a second embarrassing home defeat.
Three goals from Robin van Persie, Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum left fans at the Mane Garrincha stadium scratching their heads, and wondering what might have befallen a side with five World Cup titles to its name.
Although Scolari led Brazil to its fifth World Cup title in 2002, fans are pushing for his exit.
A combo of images shows (L-R top to bottom) Brazil's forward Hulk, injured forward Neymar and defender Dani Alves reacting on the bench during the third place play-off football match between Brazil and Netherlands during the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the National Stadium in Brasilia on July 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO
They feel the veteran tactician let the country down by building the team around the mercurial talents of an inexperienced youngster Neymar.
There was a section of fans even urging the Brazil Football Association to spend and bring in either Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho.
“We need a change. We need to change the attitude in the team. Scolari must step aside now. This is the worst team Brazil has ever had,” a Brazilian pharmacist told New Vision.
But although millions of other Brazilians shared his sentiments, the Scolari sounded defiant after the game.
“That has to be decided by the president of the confederation,” Scolari told the media.
“When we started we were tasked to go through to the end of the World Cup regardless of the result. That is exactly what we’re going to do with a final report for the president,” Scolari pointed.
Whether Scolari remains in charge or not, Brazilian football needs surgery right from its foundations.
Brazilian fans watch the FIFA World Cup third-place match between Brazil and the Netherlands on a screen during the Fan Fest at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 12, 2014. Germany and Argentina will play the final on Sunday. AFP PHOTO
They will need changes in every department and the right manager to launch a new era.
Although Brazil progressed from Group A as table leaders, their success story at that group stages had a lot to do with Neymar.
When the hosts got to the knockout stages, their destiny into the quarters was decided by Julio Cesar’s safe hands.
Till this stage, Brazil had yet to play as a team. Strikers Fred and Hulk had yet to perform to expectation.
Brazil’s attack went missing against Colombia and it took two central defenders David Luiz and Thiago Silva to propel them to the semi-finals, where they were ruthlessly exposed by the Germans.
True, Brazil have star players. Apart from their brilliant skipper Silva and poster boy Neymar, Scolari’s side was also reasonably resourceful in midfield.
But rather than depend on 22-year-old Neymar, the hosts needed the experienced guards to lead the way, contributions on and off the bench, to compete favorably in the final stretch of the tournament.
Brazil needed a potential striker in the mold of Pele (1958-70), Antonio Careca (1986), Romario (1990) and Ronaldo at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, to match the very best.
In Luis Fabiano and Adriano, Brazil lost the chance to have potential world-class strikers in their midst.
All what was left for this championship was Fred and Jo –two strikers that inspired little confidence.
–at least on the evidence of their performances in the tournament this far.
Despite scoring against Cameroon, Fred struggled to find his 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup form while Jo looked more of a Prima Dona.
But not in the eyes of Scolari who pledged to stick with his team.
“This generation is also going to be seen as the generation that started preparations for 2018 as one of the top four teams in the world. We have to push the team forward.”