DOHA, Qatar – After upsetting the Brazilians 4 to 2 on penalties in Qatar, Croatia shocked top-ranked Brazil and their throngs of supporters.Any Brazilian would tell you that, in their country, football is not only a sport but also a form of worship.
To say that Brazil’s shocking World Cup loss to Croatia on Friday was merely a disappointment that supporters of Selecao Canarinho will get over in a few days would be an understatement.
“The melancholy is excessive. After the game at Education City Stadium, Brazil fan Paolo Souza told Al Jazeera, “We had the best team in the world.
“We had high hopes for success this year, but it did not work out. The loss is really devastating,” the Brazilian, 37, remarked.
Neymar’s goal in the first half of extra time put the five-time World Cup champions on track to defeat the Balkan country.
Croatia, who were the losing World Cup finalists in 2018, however, equalized in the waning seconds of extra time, and they ultimately won on penalties.
The large majority of the stadium’s spectators were Brazilian supporters, who arrived to the game with fervor, warmth, and contagious music. But after the thrilling game, there was no samba, Surdao drum solos, or tambourine performances—just throngs of Canarinho supporters leaving the stadium as a gloomy mood persisted.
Roger Oliviera, a resident of Brasilia, claimed that if the Brazilian team had advanced, he and his companion would have done everything in their power to attend the semi-final.
The 49-year-old Oliveira shook his head and declared, “I am heartbroken. “This year was meant to be our winning year. I could only sense it. Although it’s football, I believed Neymar had given us the victory. Although I’m pleased, I have four years to recover from this, we love our team.
Since 2002, when they last won the World Cup, the South American nation has not defeated a European team in the World Cup knockout rounds.
Carolina Disa, a resident of Sao Paolo, was in tears after the game and claimed that her nine-year-old daughter had contacted her sobbing from Brazil following the loss.
“We never imagined that we would lose. Disa, a mother of three, expressed her sadness and noted that football is “extremely important” to Brazilians and, for some, the only thing they “look forward” to in their lives.
“There are many impoverished people in my country. Brazilian football is the source of all their joy. Our national teams are something we are quite proud of, she remarked.
The couple will remain in Qatar until the conclusion of the competition on December 19, according to Disa’s husband, Diego. Tickets are in hand for both the semifinal and championship games.
Right now, everyone is rooting for every team except for Argentina, he remarked. “For us, Brazil is Morocco, and Portugal is Brazil.”