How a yellow jersey is dividing Brazil
The World Cup is over, but this year two teams are not so happy with one another, and it might even cause a rift in their respective sport.
In football, the World Cup winner was, of course, Germany beating Argentina in the final, but the outcome of the World Cup final didn’t determine the entire story: the tournament for other nations was still the best ever, and the host country, Brazil, was able to win a team trophy, too.
The best part for me, however, was the moment when the German player Philipp Lahm, the captain of the team that won the competition, and the world’s best goalscorer, said a few minutes after the win that the Brazilian team “shouldn’t have to pay for the victory.” His point was that even though the German team won, they had worked hard to do it.
I thought it was a good point, because all the way to the final, both Argentina and Brazil had been working hard to do as well as they could — and that’s the point Lahm was making — and both teams knew that the goal was to win the title, even if it meant working harder than they had to.
The difference between these two teams and all the other teams was simply this: a very, very good team, by the name of Germany, beat a not-too-good Argentina team in the final, but the Brazilian team has spent the entire tournament out of the top 100 in FIFA’s ranking of the world’s best, and on Friday, in the first edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, they didn’t even make it into the top 100. (Yes, these are the second-most-valuable tournament the women’s game has ever been a part of, behind only the men’s.)
Brazil went into the tournament as one of the favorites to win the gold, and so naturally it should have been a close tournament. But, on paper, it shouldn’t have been. The German team had dominated the tournament, winning the gold by a record margin. The Argentina team, despite making a good showing — they took the silver — had been unable to repeat their past tournament successes. It’s the difference between