After watching the total annihilation of Brazil at the hands of Germany in this past World Cup it seems that the days of stylish teams being successful at the highest level have come to an end.
Analytics and advanced scouting has taken the flair from many sports over the past few years, and the soccer at this world cup provided a stark example. Let us go back to the beginning. Since Brazil lost shockingly in the finals of the 1950 World Cup, they have carved out a style and a level of excellence closely tied to their national identity. Just mention Brazillian soccer and images of elegant skillful players and breathtaking teamwork spring to mind. Garrincha, Pele, Socrates, Zico, Falcao and even fat Ronaldo all of these iconic players had one thing in common. They had style and grace and they were fun to watch. This past team had none of that. Where once there was Pele and Zico, now there was Fred. Garrincha and Falcao, have been replaced by Hulk. The names said it all and the results proved it. The Germans were poised, methodical and technically proficient (They are Germans after all) and the Brazilians were dismantled and humiliated. The defeat as is always the case was felt by the players the organization but felt the most by the fans.
It remains to be seen if either will ever recover 7 – 1 can scar any psyche.