The Confederations Cup presented the great paradox that modern-day Brazil is.
What makes Man think he is closest to God is his power of creation. Not just of life, but all of which he can imagine. For imagination is often the beginning of creation. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, " You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will..."
Sunday night brought along the moment when Luiz Felipe Scolari's imagination bore fruit. To say it was a night of magic might make me sound delirious, but with a Brazilian team on song, even that is an understatement. The Confederations Cup presented the great paradox that modern day Brazil is. There were scores who vented their anger and frustration out on the streets. An attempt to bring about change through radical activism, often seen by the powers that be as anti-national. And there were others, not bothered by the larger issues, happy to be absorbed by the efforts of a certain Big Phil's own attempts of bringing about a metamorphosis on the pitch. What matters though is that eventually both the Brazils triumphed in their own way.
Since I'm no pundit on revolutions and things similar, I will stick to the action inside the stadium, meant for the Global audience and leave the Local streets of Rio and the other cities to the more informed Brazilian.
Neymar set the tone for the tournament with that audacious volley against Mexico, but naysayers were not impressed. They needed more than a boy-wonder's supercilious tricks. They were not ready to believe that the man who landed Brazil's fifth and last World Cup more than a decade ago, had created a work ethic and style in his second stint at the helm of affairs, that could match the world's best But as Brazil sank a formidable Italy in their last group fixture, the tide started to change. Belief was back in the camp as well as amongst the detractors. But Uruguay did prove that the Selecao were still a 'work in progress'. While Brazil looked complete and well rounded in attack, the defense as always was still worrisome factor. But as Paulinho headed in at Belo Horizonte, minutes from the whistle against La Celeste, Brazil knew they had given themselves a chance to fight it out against the world's best. Although Italy did their best to upset the applecart by running Spain close, even the Gods were not ready to deny Brazil a go at the Spanish Armada.
The European style has always been in stark contrast of the Latin game. A straightjacketed, result oriented approach which (as romantics would say) often lacks soul. But Spain have been different. The often methodical tiki-taka's silken symphony has been seldom missed. Theirs was a style that had not let the football fanatic miss the Brazilian flair for at least the last 5 years. But on Sunday, Spain didn't know what had hit them. Brazil played with a zing that had gone missing from their game. Blame a certain Dunga for trying to bring about a more physical style-sheet the last time the world saw the Selecao play in South Africa. They attacked with pace and in numbers, defended with guts and gumption and made the mid-field theirs with unmatched aggression. In the end, even the 3-0 score line hardly showcased the superiority that Brazil enjoyed over the 90 minutes.
So, Brazil have sounded the war cry. But like failure, even success is ephemeral. Once the dust settles down and the euphoria ends, one Brazil will have disenchanted masses to deal with, while the other will look to build on its new-found glory.