By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – on Saturday (June 27th) the Brazilian national football (soccer) team, the Seleção, was knocked out of the 2015 Copa America after loosing to Paraguay in a 1-1 tie by 4-3 in penalty kicks. Now the organization is facing the critics and inevitable disappointment that has followed the ups-and-downs in recent years.
The coach of the Seleção, Dunga said the games of the Copa America served to give experience for many players who play outside of Brazil and do not know the style and pace of South American football.
“Our team played fourteen matches and took five dead-ball goals, opponents had little opportunity. And within that competition we had three players who had never played the qualifiers. The Copa America has served to experience for these athletes.”
The team landed in São Paulo yesterday to a tepid welcome with few fans to greet them, and most of the players were not looking to speak to the media. Robinho, David Luiz and Elias passed without giving a statement.
For the defender Miranda, who did offer a comment to O Globo, it was inevitably a blow to the team’s self esteem and confidence, but he said that “[…] life goes on. Now it is time to think of qualifying [for the next World Cup].”
He said the virus that some players caught during the past week can not be used as an excuse for getting knocked out of the tournament. “[The illnesses] hinder a bit, but we do not have to use that as an excuse. We have to take on our defeat, to respect and listen to the criticism that will appear.”
The loss in quarterfinals took place without the team captain and star Neymar who had received a four-game suspension the week before in a game against Colombia. The CBF decided not to appeal against the ban, which he had received after his red card was earned by a fight with another player and later waited in the tunnel to insult the referee.
For some analysts, the knock-out of the 2015 Copa America echoed the path to the World Cup 2014, and disastrous results. The preparation cycle began with low expectations, but the home win over Spain in the final of the Confederations Cup revived hopes. The country came to believe that victory in Brazil could come, until the 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semifinal.