RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilians already downhearted at missing out on reaching the World Cup final watched in dismay Saturday as their national team lost to the Netherlands 3-0 in the third-place match.
Across the nation, fans hoping for some measure of redemption were crushed as Brazil failed to score and said their only solace was that the country managed to put on a good World Cup show for the world.
Brazilian soldier Julio Cesar Carioca compared his connection with Brazil’s team to life itself.
“You go into things with great expectations, but rarely do those expectations play out in reality,” Carioca said. “It’s football. Things happen.”
In Rio, tens of thousands of fans watched the game on a massive TV on Copacabana Beach and the mostly Brazilian crowd stood in silence as the Netherlands knocked in one goal after another.
Argentine fans who have flooded into the city ahead of their country’s final match against Germany today cheered and chanted songs mocking Brazil’s football prowess.
At the Alzirao street fest in Rio where thousands cheered Brazil in earlier tournament games, only a few hundred showed up on Saturday and small-business owner Angelica Morellato Seabra was among them wearing Brazil’s national team jersey.
She was disgusted with the outcome.
“I’m trying to forget the whole thing, but it’s going to be difficult,” said Seabra, 56. “If you draw you forget, but if you lose like we do, forgetting is impossible.”
On Copacabana Beach, university student Luiz de Almeira shook his head in dismay each time Brazil seemed like it would score but missed opportunities.
“I’m proud of being Brazilian but I’m mad because we could have been making history,” the 20-year-old business major said. “The team has not shown what it is capable of doing and the only salvation is that Brazil has managed to show it could pull off a good World Cup.”