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Worst nightmare

Rashneel Kumar
Friday, July 11, 2014

RUBBING salt in their wounds?

Well sadly for Brazil and its fans, this may be the case. For them, the 2014 FIFA World Cup is turning into an unimaginable nightmare.

Still hurt from the humiliating 1-7 loss to Germany in the first semi-final on Wednesday, the five-time World Cup champions were shamed further by their arch-rivals Argentina. The Argentines marched through to the final eking past Netherlands 4-2 in the penalty shoot-out in the other semis yesterday.

ESPN commentator Jon Champion hit the nail on the head when he commented "Brazil's worst nightmare has just got a whole lot worse" after Argentina's win.

Let's make it easier for those local Brazil fans who are unaware of the football rivalry between these two countries. While many of them here have switched to supporting Argentina, the Brazilians are rooting for the team that destroyed their hope, Germany, to win the World Cup title.

Sounds silly but that's how fierce the rivalry is between Brazil and Argentina when it comes to football.

In an interview with The Guardian last year, World Cup final host city Rio mayor Eduardo Paes said "If Argentina beat Brazil, in the final, I'll kill myself. They have Messi and the Pope. They can't have everything."

Argentina still has a chance to win this World Cup but Brazil's embarrassing defeat by Germany may have spared Paes the possibility of having to live up to or eat his words.

Reuters interviewed Guilherme Samora, a 25-year old Brazilian businessman, who was supporting Netherlands, "Our rivalry with Argentina is historic. If Afghanistan were playing Argentina, we will be wearing Afghan shirts today."

Tex, who is well informed of this ancient rivalry, still wants Argentina to win. He says that the bashing at the hands of the Germans is so bad that he will rather cheer the "old enemy" than the one that has disrepute all the achievements of Brazil.

The rivalry

The rivalry between these two giants can be traced to before football became so popular in both countries.

While their rivalry is found in almost all sports, men's football match between Argentina and Brazil is one that neither side wants to lose.

The intensity of this rivalry between the two hit another level after 1946.

In an ill-tempered 1945 match that Brazil won by six goals to two, Brazilian Ademir Menezes fractured Argentine Batagliero's leg.

Menezes did not seem to have malicious intent in the incident but the fact that it was a rough and violent game did not do him any favours.

They would meet again in 1946 in the South American Championship final. And when Brazil's Jair Rosa Pinto fractured the tibia and fibula of Argentine captain José Salomón, chaos ensued,

Both teams became involved in an on-field brawl with the crowd also invading the pitch. Following the infamous incident, both teams avoided playing each other for a decade.

While the rivalry is not as vicious today, fans of either country still can't stand to see the other progress.

Only the Germans, who humbled them just two days ago can save Brazil from further humiliation.





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