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Ozymandias in Belo Horezonte

09 July 2014, 14:19

It happened to the Greeks, it happened to Manchester United, it happened to Walter White and last night it happened to the Selecao. All these empires have inevitably fallen from their pretensions to greatness simultaneously shattering the hopes and aspirations of their admirers.

26 minutes into the first half of last night’s semi-final I was taken back to a time in my life when I suffered from a serious addiction to FIFA 11 on XBOX 360. A few of my buddies and I had a simple winner stays on system with a clause that if you concede a four goal deficit you would have to give off. As soon as Toni Kroos scored Germany’s fourth goal I felt this sudden reflexive urge to shout “give off”!  My next thought was that this couldn’t be Brazil, it must be Germany vs Mamelodi Sundowns or maybe I was watching the women’s semi final. Alas the reality of the situation was that the next chapter in this rollercoaster world cup is one of pity. Pity that so many have been romanced by the idea that Brazil was ever going to win this tournament.  Pity that Neymar and Silva couldn’t play and pity that Brazil couldn’t add another star above their badge (it would have been interesting to see how they play around with their star sizing and arrangement). Brazil’s defeat at the hands Germany highlighted a lesson learnt historically by sport fans all over the world: there will come a time; when you least expect it; when the team you love that has shown so much promise and good form  … will get humiliated at home.

The point is that in life and in sport there are disappointments and tragedies. Besides the physical benefits there is also a certain level of emotional maturity that can be developed though sport which is often overlooked. This is why I believe it is so important for the youth of today to get off their smart phones and onto the sports field – maybe if we focus on making a bigger deal of our youth sport (at all levels, not just craven week and big derbies) we might see results in some surprising areas.

Nelson Mandela: “Sport has the power to change the world …”

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