Brazilians at this level play a different, less organized, brand of soccer than we do in the states. They really are more focused on individual effort than team results. It can be beautiful and frustrating to watch. Constantly wishing that they would pass the ball to the open man to make the game more interesting was a frustrating thing to see. There were a few players on the field that possessed amazing talent though. Aladine was one of them Juninho another. They scored most of the goals. Partly because they didn't like to pass when they were near the goal, and partly because they could bring the skill and quality to get open enough to have a clear shot without passing. They were fun to watch possessing great athletic ability and amazing foot speed. Aladine had the most powerful shot. Made more remarkable by the fact that he couldn't weigh much more than a hundred thirty pounds soaking wet. On the other end of the scale was a guy we called The Matador. He had to weigh in close to three hundred pounds. With a belly big enough to house a small family, The Matador didn't see much of the ball. He could run a few short steps and hold space but as you can imagine his footwork wasn't fast anymore. I admired him for his perseverance. The game consisted of two forty minute halves then a party.
The barbeque was manned by the Brazilians and paid for by their American patrons. We had pitched in to buy what was needed and by the looks of things many more people were going to join us while we ate, drank, and watched the Brazil v Germany semi final. We were never joined by more people but we had a great time packed into the small clubhouse to watch the historic competition unfold. Germany was ahead by five goals within the first thirty minutes of the first half. Disbelief. How could the host nation fall apart like this. We all wondered what would happen with Neymar out, his back broken by a Colombian player in the previous game, and Thiago Silva on the bench with too many yellows. It couldn't have played out any worse of the Brazilian team. No one expected them to fall apart. The Brazilian defense was full of holes the mechanical German team exploited with ease. Brazil couldn't generate any offense to take the pressure off their defense and the result was the most lopsided loss in the history of a World Cup semi final. It was so bad that the Brazilian president apologized to the nation the following morning. The mood in our clubhouse didn't change much. Still in a mind to party and drink, our Brazilian friends didn't slow down any. They were upset, making fun of there team and country. Using the Brazilian flag to clean up a mess here and there, but resolute in their quest to have a good time. They don't have much to look forward to here. Their prospects are pretty grim if I'm honest. The promise of having fun in the immediate future outweighing the consequence of any future payment explained the temporary ideal most of the people we've met hear hold dear. Nevertheless I was grateful that they didn't implode and get mad and cross. We easily could've been leaving post haste afraid we might be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead, this group shook it off and had fun anyway.
Connor had come back to the pousada for the game and by the time I got back he had showered and explained to me that he didn't want to play in tomorrow's arranged game. His ankle was bothering him a bit but more to the point he didn't like playing with the Brazilians. Their sense of team and system of play was all wrong in his mind. "They're selfish", he said. I couldn't agree more. Then he headed up to the square above the pousada with Skylar and the boys to play two on two soccer. Usually a little soccer therapy is just what he needs to clear his mind and come around. Surprisingly tonight when he arrived back he was standing by his decision to not play. It looked like we'd have a little more father son time tomorrow which was just fine with me.
Signing off for the last time from Penedo, Brazil, wishing you all a little adventure and promise in your day. Know that you will always have more than you need and never have less the you want.