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“Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe it to football (soccer).” – Albert Camus

I love the World Cup. The fact that it happens only once every 4 years makes it even more special.

It is beautiful to see countries from all over the world, all sorts of history, different cultures and background play with and against each other. I love seeing all the different fans celebrating together as in a big party.

In Brazil soccer is a source of pride.  We have Pele, one of the best players ever. We won the World Cup 5 times.  The most cups ever won by a country.  Coming on our heels are Germany and Italy with 4 each. Italy, shockingly,  is not in the tournament.   Germany, who was in trouble but miraculously scored a goal in the last few second of their second game, are on the way to try to tie us for the number of cups won.

We have the “jogo bonito”. The Jogo bonito means the beautiful game. The phrase was coined to describe Brazil’s style of playing.  A game with beautiful passes and flair. It is samba with a ball and without music.

“Win without boasting. Lose without excuse.” – Albert Payson Terhune

I should say we had, past tense, the jogo bonito has been nowhere in sight for years now.  We, somehow decided to go for another style, more technical.  Jogo bonito is now a thing of the past.  It seems we used to play from the heart, with heart, and now  it is all business,  all egos.  Who scores the most goals, who is the best player

Not only we are not playing a beautiful game anymore, we are, at times, are acting like whiny babies, falling too much, complaining too much. It has been embarrassing at times to watch Brazil play now. I know that Neymar, our top scorer, is heavily marked on the field, but at times I think some of his antics are a little too much.  He loses his temper and becomes like a spoiled child. Sometimes I want to shake him and say: Man up!

“I have no sense of humor about losing” – Rafael Nadal

We have played 2 games so far and we were well below expectations and all the hype going into the tournament. We tied the first game and won the second.  Game 2 was better than game 1, but still nothing impressive.  I hope we continue growing and I hope that we can find that beautiful game again and show the world that we are indeed the team to beat, fair and square.

But more than prove anything to the world, Brazilian players need to prove to themselves, and to give us Brazilians a reason to be proud of our soccer again.

In game and in life what is better, to have a beautifully played game or to just get a win?  You may play beautifully but not live to see another day, so there it that mentally of doing what you need to do to just survive, to just win the game.

“Winning isn’t everything–but wanting to win is.” – Vince Lombardi Jr.

In a perfect world the best team would win.  But life is not always fair. Who is to say who really is the best team?  Life is always a lesson, and in the end I believe all evens out. Everyone wins some, loses some and learns something.

May the best team win, the one with more heart, the one with more passion, the one that wants the most.

“Many people say I’m the best women’s soccer player in the world. I don’t think so. And because of that, someday I just might be.” – Mia Hamm