Brazil’s defeat to Argentina this week, at Maracanã, didn’t just hit Brazil badly. In addition to the great emphasis that the international press gave to the fight in the stands, here in Europe there was criticism of the moment that the five-time world champion team is experiencing on the field.
In Spain, the newspaper Marca stated that Argentina increased the Brazilian crisis with “another Maracanazo”. As said that Brazil ends the year with a “serious identity crisis”.
The French L’Équipe recalled that this was the first home defeat in a qualifying match, after describing the scenes of children crying because of the widespread confusion.
The Italian La Gazzetta dello Sport ended its chronicle of the game by talking about another “bitter record” for the team, the third consecutive defeat in the Qualifiers, and calling what happened earlier in the stadium “chaos” and “war”.
And the British Sky Sports showed that the Brazilian team is “in free fall” in the classification table for the 2026 World Cup.
Global shame, but Brazil is not the only one. There are a lot of European teams with tradition under immense pressure.
At a time of defining places for next year’s Euro Cup, four-time world champion Italy narrowly escaped another embarrassment. It has already left its fans embarrassed by having been left out of the last two World Cups, despite having won the European title between the two tournaments, in 2021. And, this week, to guarantee its place in Euro-2024, it could not lose to Ukraine. They managed to qualify in a struggle, with a 0-0 score. Recent injuries, scandals involving players suspended for illegal betting and a new coach are part of the backdrop.
Eliminated early and painfully in the group stage of the last World Cup – for the second time in a row in a World Cup, in fact – Germany, once again, ends the year in a terrible way. The good thing is that, as they host the Euros, they are guaranteed a place. At the same time, there is still a lot of pressure to reach the tournament at a high level. Last Tuesday (21), they lost to Austria in a friendly. To top it off, Leroy Sané pushed Phillipp Mwene by the neck and face and was sent off for the first time in his career.
The Germans end 2023 with just three wins in 11 matches. It was Julian Nagelsmann’s second consecutive defeat since taking charge of the four-time world champion team in September. The coach said the team lacked unity on the field.
Even England, which has a good crop of talent, with names like Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and the indispensable Harry Kane, was criticized after drawing this week with North Macedonia – 66th in the league rankings. FIFA. Apart from the tension that always hangs over the English before any important tournament – since the only major international title in the men’s category was the 1966 World Cup.
There are even worse cases, such as fans who can’t even see their team in a competition, despite having some of the biggest stars on the planet today. The case of Norway, which did not go to the World Cup in Qatar and will not be at the Euros. Manchester City’s Erling Haaland will have to show his talent in the Premier League, as will Arsenal’s Martin Ødegaard.
So, if you are frustrated with Brazil’s performance on the field, know that you are not alone. When it comes to national team football, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
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