Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that. The game brings everyone together, it brings races together, engage people, nurture teamwork, and teach young people important life lessons about hard work, dedication and perseverance.

My Idol my Inspiration has always been 1 guy, Ronaldinho Gaucho, I always dreamt to play like him, move like him, no look passes like him, and even smile like him.

His struggles in life to achieve greatness taught me that you can overcome anything, if and only if you love something enough, No school could teach me that.

The first ever World Cup I watched was in 2002, June 21st and it was by accident. With score levelled at 1-1, it was anybody’s game at that point and as usual,

I could see my dad biting his nails. It was that night, I saw magic. A curly haired guy, with a bright smile on his face, lining up to take a freekick few yards away from the center line. I could hardly pronounce his name! He scanned the entire ground with one glance and saw something which none of the other players on or off the field saw… that little gap between the keeper and the goal post. What then happened was inexplicable, some say he meant it, some say he got lucky. What I witnessed that night was a free kick scored by Ronaldinho against England in the quarter finals of the World Cup. I never liked football back then, I was a cricketer like every other kid in India, but that goal changed my entire life.

Brazil are arguably the best team in the history of international football, revered the world over.

They were hosting the World Cup and they were one of the favourites to win. What happened instead was absolute humiliation.

Every football fan knows what happened on 8 July 2014; a night, none of the Brazil fans can ever forget . A 7-1 humiliation by Germany in front of their home crowd. To add insult to injury Miroslav Klose, scored to steal the all-time World Cup goalscoring record from Brazil’s own El Fenomeno. The country weeped!

 

The statistics kept mounting and the critics were scathing. The country which played the most beautiful football was crumbled by the Germans. The place which gave us crazy adverts, joga bonito, the Black pearl, some of the best footballers in the world of football had now hit the lowest point.

This was rock bottom. Something had to change.

The early exit, loss against Peru in the confederations was not well-received.

 

This was rock bottom.

 

Something had to change.

 

Since then, Brazil has changed a lot. They have fought hard and shown the world that night was a mistake. As footballers, we have all faced a bad defeat in our lives.

Brazil has always been known for their attacking style of play. A spearheaded attack which can cut through any defence in the world.

A freekick lineup of Ronaldinho, Kaka, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Juninho; wouldn’t your knees turn to jelly if you were the keeper?

For some time now, the role of number 9  was one that Brazil had been struggling to fill for a while, with all the recent strikers lingering in utter mediocrity. With City’s new golden boy, who was painting a street during the last world cup, Brazil has now found an answer to that.

It was the catalyst that saw the Brazilian squad to go on to win their next eight qualifiers. By March 2017 following this remarkable run, Brazil had become the first team to qualify for Russia 2018, while their neighbours with arguably the world’s best player was struggling to win a game.

And so Brazil appears once again to be a force to be reckoned with.

With players like Marcelo, Ederson, Thiago Silva, Coutinho, Jesus, Firmino and of course, the world’s costliest player.  Football has turned a nightmare into a reason to dream once more for the people of Brazil. All that remains for their rehabilitation and ultimate redemption. Will they lift the trophy in 2018?  

 

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