Since the traditional ‘owners’ of the World Cup left, many had openly campaigned for the exit of Brazil. They said this would hand the cup to a new winner who would lead the way to new world football powers.
The Ballexit began with the defending champion, Germany. They were followed by their co-finalist in 2014, Argentina, who were believed to be assisted by the referee to defeat Nigeria through a penalty that was never awarded from a clear hand ball. Yes, may persons said it is head to hand, even when the offending hand was that of an Argentine.
Spain followed and now Brazil. The likes of Italy, Chile, and Holland did not even make it. China, the largest pollution on earth, did not show up, despite their hunger and budgets.
Now, the coast is clear for the outsiders such as France, Belgium, Croatia, Sweden, and England to contend when ordinarily they were all hoping for a quarter final attempt. Now, they are all contenders.
Brazil looked good in all positions until Casemiro was yellow-carded twice in the past. That pucked him out of the central midfield from where Lukaku starts his usual threatening runs. It fell on Ronaldinho to stop him, but it never worked. It was always Casemero that could do such with his muscular nerves and strength. Despite that, he had to use rough tackles often.
In his absence, a weaker stone was placed on the way and Lukaku threw it away to set up Debryune who scored. This is the same way Victor Moses failed to run back to trouble Messi who now had clear way to face Ndidi. If Moses had come quickly back, he would have from behind did his job so Ndidi would just do a pick-out.
When such holes and gaps are allowed once in a while, clever teams exploit it and mess the defence up. That is what ordinary people see, the messing up of the defence, not knowing that a midfield defender had failed.
Brazil lost to Casemero’s cards (absence) and the sharpness of Martinez, the Belgian coach. It means team that want to win the cup must have two strong midfield defenders, two top strikers, in addition with other strong wings. There wings where you do not compromise from quarter-final stage. Uruguay failed because Cavani was not there to click with Suarez who became ordinary.
Lesson, only teams with every wing very strong with substitutes can last to win the cup. It’s not for boys.