Could Drink Be the Reason Brazil Did So Poorly at the World Cup?

August 25, 2007

The Brazilian team at the 2006 World Cup was a shadow of the one that had competed in the last two- stopovers, pirouettes and nutmegs replaced by a sluggish passing game while the sexy, flowing football we had seen before replaced by a team that did not know where its players were on the pitch. After Brazil was eliminated by a strong France team in the quarterfinals, rumors came out in the press that the Brazilian players had been drinking not just after games, but before them as well.

This shocking story emerged little more than a week ago, with CBF president Ricardo Teixeira telling reporters that a few players “arrived between 4 and 6 in the morning, drunk”. Although this has since been denied by Brazil’s assistant coach Mario Zagallo, could there be some truth in the claims? Throughout the World Cup, Brazil was hyped up as the golden team- most saw them as a shoe-in for the trophy.

After they were dumped out, they were criticized of a lot of things- the president of the country slamming Ronaldo after it emerged he weighed 98kg at the start of the tournament. However, not a single person hinted at this sort of unruly behavior- until now, that is. This will be looked at in great detail over the next few weeks, as drinking is hardly the best preparation for the biggest international football competition in the world- no matter how many stars your team possesses.

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