On the morning of 16 July 1950, the day Brazil took to the field at the Maracana to face Uruguay in the World Cup final, Rio de Janeiro newspaper O Mundo printed a picture of the national team headlined: "These are the world champions."
Alcides Ghiggia of Uruguay ensured that would not be the case on the occasion now known as the Maracanazo, but it will be hard to stop such optimism and expectation creeping in once more after Luiz Felipe Scolari's side lifted the Confederations Cup on Sunday after demolishing Spain in the final.
Brazil had the force of a whole nation behind it. Divided by the politics that have caused riots across the country, the public were united in triumph. The Selecao dismantled the reigning world champions with a purposeful, tenacious, passionate performance that signalled Scolari has molded a team that can compete with any other on its own turf.
The sound inside the iconic Maracana was deafening. Every single touch was greeted with a raucous cheer, while every second of Spanish possession was whistled and jeered. And if the whole crowd singing the national anthem at the top of their voices even after the music had stopped did not rattle the visitors, then the Selecao's high-intensity, high pressing game certainly did.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Luiz Felipe Scolari
- Alcides Ghiggia