Brazil must not repeat 1950 World Cup "tragedy"

SAO PAULO Mon Dec 3, 2012 5:31pm IST

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke (L) and Minister of Sports Aldo Rebelo hold a banner during a media conference in Sao Paulo November 28, 2012. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke (L) and Minister of Sports Aldo Rebelo hold a banner during a media conference in Sao Paulo November 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil must not repeat the "national tragedy" of losing the 2014 World Cup as it did when it hosted the event in 1950, the country's Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo said.

"We cannot repeat the national tragedy of 1950 when we lost to Uruguay," Rebelo told foreign journalists visiting Brazil as part of the buildup to the finals.

"It was like losing to your younger brother. Losing to Argentina, well that would be like losing to your brother-in-law and that is something that you also can never accept in the family."

With seven months to go before the start of the Confederations Cup, next year's precursor to the World Cup finals, Rebelo said that he was optimistic that all the airports, hotels and necessary infrastructure would be ready in time.

However, he said that underlying everything in soccer-mad Brazil was the trauma that followed the 1950 defeat at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Watched by what is still the biggest crowd ever to assemble for a soccer match - estimated at between 199,000 and 205,000 - Uruguay beat Brazil 2-1 to claim their second World Cup after winning the inaugural tournament in Montevideo in 1930.

Brazil had to wait until the arrival of a 17-year-old Pele to win its first World Cup in 1958. In 2014 it will be aiming to become world champions for the sixth time, and erase the memory of 1950 once and for all.

Rebelo told Reuters: "Losing to Uruguay in 1950 not only impacted on Brazilian soccer. It impacted on the country's self-esteem. Brazilians felt defeated as a country and only felt redeemed when we won the 1958 World Cup and we abandoned what the writer Nelson Rodrigues called 'the stray dog complex' so winning the World Cup is very important to us.

"There are defeats and there are defeats, but we do not want another one like we had in 1950 and we are counting on a victory because we are playing at home and I am not being modest but we have the best players in the world.

"We are different to the Europeans. Our style is based on technical excellence as well as creativity, a capacity to improvise and the offer of freedom to our artists.

"European style is based on tactical discipline and collective force and if we copy the Europeans we'll be lost. We will lose.

"We have the force, the technique and creativity and technical discipline to win the World Cup. I am optimistic now that (Luiz Felipe) Scolari is back as the coach. I am optimistic about our players. No team has the same kind of quality that Lucas and Neymar have on either side of the field.

"Argentina has an exceptionally good player in Lionel Messi but he does not have another player on the other side of the field as good as him to help him, and Argentina's defenders are not as good as ours."

Rebelo did not mention world champions Spain, widely regarded as favorites heading into the 2014 World Cup finals. The Spanish side are admired in Brazil for playing a style of football reminiscent of the "beautiful game" made popular by the great Brazilian teams of the past.

(Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by John Mehaffey)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

SOCCER

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Santos joins FC Goa

Santos joins FC Goa

Former Brazil defender Santos joins Pires at FC Goa.  Full Article 

Euro Qualifiers

Euro Qualifiers

Norway call up 15-year-old Odegaard for Euro qualifiers.  Full Article 

Johnson Recalls

Johnson Recalls

Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson still remembers English taunts.  Full Article 

Philander in Squad

Philander in Squad

South Africa name Vernon Philander in ODI tour squad.  Full Article 

Asian Games

Asian Games

Gulf states strike athletics gold, North stun South.  Full Article | Related Story 

New Ambassador

New Ambassador

Li named ambassador for WTA Finals in Singapore.  Full Article 

Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup

Ruthless Europe retain iron grip on Ryder Cup.  Full Article 

Title Contenders

Title Contenders

Hazard warning for Chelsea's Champions League rivals.  Full Article 

Champions League

Champions League

Holders Real Madrid forewarned by Liverpool's struggle.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage