World Cup 2014: England or Brazil

World cup England

How England’s World Cup dreams always end up. (@Doug88888)

In case you hadn’t heard, the World Cup is about to start here in Brazil.  As an Englishman living here I am just thankful that England managed to qualify because I don’t think life would have been bearable trying to deal with the build up knowing that I wouldn’t have much of a part in it.

As it is, I am much more relaxed about this World Cup than I have been for a long time.  The reason is that I know England haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance of winning it, so I don’t need to worry about broken bones or Rooney’s fitness.  I am happy to see a young and exciting England team that might be pretty good in Russia, but is just along for the ride and the experience here.  If we can qualify for the knock-out phase I think most English people would be happy.

The same cannot be said for most of my Brazilian friends and family.

First of all there is immense disappointment at the way the preparations for the tournament have been handled.  This has led to many people not getting overly excited by what should have been the highlight of many people’s lives.  The excitement is starting to rise slightly, but not like I had imagined it would be when Brazil was initially awarded to right to host the competition.

Secondly, there is the fear that they don’t have the team they need to win the World Cup.

It has almost become a cliché to suggest that the loss Brazil suffered in 1950, the last time the World Cup was here, against Uruguay in the final caused the country a lot of heartache.  Some people have even suggested that the defeat was at least partially responsible for a national feeling of inferiority that has only started to be lifted in recent years with an improving economy.  Most Brazilians are also only too aware that, until Spain won the last World Cup, they were the only winners never to have actually won at home.

They feel that their team is a bit lightweight to change things and finally win on home soil.  Apart from Neymar, they are very weak up front and might well struggle to score the goals they need.  However, they have a manager who has been through all of this before and won the tournament with a very conservative attitude, and this might well be what the team needs.

Divided House: Brazil or England?

Divided House

A Divided House

Our house obviously has divided loyalties.  My wife will be supporting Brazil, but if/when they go out would take an interest in England, if we are still in it.  If not, she’ll probably support Spain because they have the best looking players.

My son, who will celebrate his 3rd birthday just after the final, is supporting Brazil and will shout their name out a punch the air whenever you ask him.  If you ask about England, he just shakes his head and repeats ‘Brazil!’  I would like to encourage him to support England, but he deserves better than that.

I will of course be supporting England from pubs for as long as we stay in it.  When they go out I don’t think I’ll be supporting Brazil right away, instead I’ll cheer for Uruguay if only to wind up as many of my friends as possible.


World Cup for Kids

During the World Cup I’ll be posting blogs about England and Brazil as part a project hosted by Multicultural Kid Blogs that aims to look at the tournament through the eyes of kids around the world.  You can find more blogs and ideas by going to the World Cup for Kids page and clicking on the country or countries you are interested in.



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8 thoughts on “World Cup 2014: England or Brazil

  1. Our house is also slightly divided between Brazil and France but i have been formatting my soon to be 3 year old to be a fan of “Les Bleus” although she really doesn’t seem to care a single bit and would trade a world cup final for Peppa Pig any day…oh well c’est la vie… (But i’m sure i can count on you to support France against Brazil 😉

    • Hi Waele, you have been working hard brainwashing, no sorry, educating your daughter then!

      I managed to get my son to shout ‘England’ today and I was very proud. I know what you mean about Peppa Pig v Football, though. In our case it is no longer ‘Pepppa Pig’ but ‘Jake and the Pirates of Never Land’.

  2. My wife’s family is going to watch, of course, but no big excitement here. As a U.S. citizen I’m not too culturally attuned to soccer/football, so it makes little difference to me. My students seem divided over hoping Brazil wins (because it’s their country and team) and hoping it loses (the earlier the better) to drive some sort of anti-status quo movement.

    • Thanks for your message, Adam.

      I have heard a number of people suggesting they would like to see Brazil go out early due to political considerations. Maybe the most nervous people in the 2nd round when Brazil could face either Spain or Holland will be Dilma?

  3. It is too bad that the World Cup has turned into such a sore subject for most Brazilians, though it’s easy to see why. As for our house, we do sort of have divided loyalties between the US and Costa Rica, except that like the other commenter, being from the US it is less important to me. My husband is actually a big US fan and I think has better hopes for the US team than for Costa Rica.

    • Walking around the city today was the first time I noticed lots of Brazil flags hanging out of flats and on cars, so maybe things are changing as the tournament draws nearer.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if USA caused an upset or two in this World Cup, I don’t think they’ll win it, but they are getting better every time.

  4. I think it will be the most entertaining world cup ever with Brazil hosting it and all the hype around them being the favorite. I think England had a very exciting team a young squad that has nothing to loose so if they play freely and attacking football they can surprise some of the teams.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      I agree that England have nothing to lose and could surprise a few people if they play to the strengths of their young, quick players. At the moment, though, I am worried that we will start much more conservatively.

      I am not sure that Brazil start as favourties. Most people here think Spain and Germany are the teams to beat, and they are extremely worried about Argentina!


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