Brasilia, Jul 9 : “Brazil have Neymar; Argentina, Messi; Portugal, Ronaldo. Germany have a team.” That was just one of a blizzard of sardonic comments doing the rounds on social media, a virtual meeting point for tens of millions of Brazilians, after yesterday’s 7-1 hiding by the Germans. As Brazil crashed to an epic World Cup semi-final loss thousands of web users in a country with a voracious appetite for social media came up with the hashtag #vergonhabrasil (humiliation Brazil).
Some posts to sites depicted Rio’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue covering its face in shame — or even replaced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Can somebody explain to me how a knee in the back for (absent injured star) Neymar renders 11 (Brazilian players) paraplegic?” asked Twitter user @MonteiroLovato. Some users scolded the critics, preferring to offer thanks to their players, including skipper David Luiz, for their World Cup effort which finally imploded spectacularly.
“Before the game everyone was talking about us winning a sixth title, you ungrateful lot who only back Brazil when they are winning,” huffed @itspetrov4l. However, most posts were humorous and ironic in nature. “If we’re going to lose then let it be by a margin that puts us in the Guinness Book of Records,” was one such post accompanied by an image of the team holding a pitchside group hug as if aware of the German assault to come.
“There goes my re-election,” was another post in allusion to President Dilma Rousseff, who faces general elections in October and whose chances many Brazilians felt took a knock with Tuesday’s thrashing. Still more posts alluded to the protests which have
assailed the giant nation in recent months over the cost of staging the event rather than investing in poor public services. “The worst thing is there are no hospitals to treat my depression” about the result, was how one internet user put it. “It would have been better to build hospitals,” was a comment put into the mouth of Brazil’s 2002 champion Ronaldo.
As a member of the organising committee Ronaldo said the Cup required stadiums as opposed to hospitals. Still more posts showed the Brazilian flag mocked up as a goal bulging with blue balls to represent Germany’s goals. One user had German coach Joachim Loew as asking Brazil’s second-round victims Chile: “Will that do — or shall we score a few more?” Others showed an image from the City of God film about violent crime in Rio showing an armed gang with the caption: “The Cup doesn’t leave here.”