The Brazilians have returned home from South Africa after their disappointing quarterfinal elimination and the emotions upon their arrival were fierce. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar couldn't hold back the flood of tears that he first showed during his postgame apology for the mistake that led to the Netherlands' first goal on Friday, but fans were forgiving and shouted their encouragement at him.
Scapegoat Felipe Melo, on the other hand, wasn't so warmly received. Sent off in the second half for stomping on Arjen Robben and originally being credited for an own goal before it was later given to Wesley Sneijder, Melo returned to Brazil and found it a bit risky. Even Ronaldo joked on Twitter that he "better not come to Brazil for his holidays." But Melo quickly braved the storm of fan fury, hurriedly running to a waiting car, surrounded by bodyguards and under verbal assault from the fans.
Before the tears started flowing for Julio Cesar, he made a quick statement to the press. Via Football Italia:
“I am very moved and thank all the fans.
“In these three and a half years of work, this Seleçao has still achieved something exceptional by entertaining the fans.
“Now we are all deeply sad, as we wanted to win our sixth World Cup trophy.”
Well, dry those eyes, Julio. That sixth trophy will surely come when Brazil plays host in 2014. Unless Uruguay commandeers the party like they did in 1950.
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- Felipe Melo
- Julio Cesar