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Roberto Carlos failure to mark Henry sent Brazil home (maybe)
Thursday, July 06, 2006

It is hard to imagine what Brazil's players are going through. All the expectations of a whole nation (and perhaps a whole continent) placed on the legs of the best 11 players in the world.

Everyone expected them to win it all, and, because of the great expectations, their failure to even play beautifully in a world setting is even more hurtful--the media makes it sounds as if they betrayed their country.

And it almost feels like betrayal. I am not Brazilian, but I was in shock after their lost. I didn't want to speak to anyone and kept thinking how could it be that a team with the best players of professional football could perform so badly against an inferior opponent?

What happened to Brazil in the World Cup is the same thing that happened to Real Madrid in La Liga (Spain's first division league): many stars, very little results.

In this situation, who is to blame? There are many theories, for example:
  1. It was Ronaldinho's fault for not playing the way he always does.

  2. It was Ronaldo's fault for being too fat and not giving his place to Robinho.

  3. It was Cafu's fault for being too old and not giving his place to Cicinho.

  4. And the most likely one: it was Parreira's fault for not substituting tumbling Ronaldo for Robinho, for not substituting Cafu for Cicinho, for not putting one man to personally mark Zidane at all times, for not playing more quality teams while in training, for changing the starting line up without trying it first (subbing Juninho for Adriano?), etc., etc. I am certain you have read them all.
With all these theories, the one that has the most substance and the one that can be backed with proof is that Roberto Carlos forgot he was playing and just stood to watch Henry walk by him to score.

The evidence:

It is hard to argue that he failed to mark Henry. What was he doing? Why didn't he move?

It all comes down to a lack of focus and lost of concentration. In any other situation, his lack of movement while the free kick was being taken could have just been shrugged off and move on. However, giving that much space to a player of the quality of Henry means disaster in a nock-off situation.

To Brazil, it is the equivalent of treason: he may as well have sold national secrets to the enemy (whoever the enemy happened to be that day). Even revealing Ronaldo's weight to the world didn't have the consequences his 10 seconds of rest had.

Having looked at the evidence above, I don't believe Roberto Carlos is to blame for Brazil's elimination (better teams have come back from a one goal difference: Germany vs. Argentina). On the other hand, there is no question that his lack of marking led to Henry's goal.

Brazil played poorly throughout the tournament, and there were many technical errors around the bench. In my uneducated point of view, the best team won, however, Brazil had the best players of all time.

We'll see how a younger team performs in 2010. And goodbye to Ronaldo, Cafu, and Roberto Carlos--when you were at the top, you were the best.

(I wonder if there will Congressional hearings about Roberto Carlos's 10 second break at the 66th minute mark? It wouldn't surprise me. In 1998, Ronaldo actually had to answer questions in a Congressional hearing to explain why the team lost the FIFA 1998 World Cup.)

11:59 AM | 3 comment(s) |


Good series of photos that show a shocking lack of concentration.

Mind you, bar perhaps 10 minutes, France totally dictated the pace of the game, and with Zidane in such immaculate form, it was unlikely anyone could have beaten them.

Sunday will be very interesting. If France play like they did against either Brazil or Spain they will win, if they play like they did against Portugal then Italy will be world champions.

Here's hoping its a great game!

Allez Les Bleus!
By Anonymous pth, at 8:39 AM

big fat twats who cant play football thats why
By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:38 AM

german foreign twats
By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:39 AM

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