By, Kyle Gibson
Update: Boy was I wrong! Congrats to Brazil on a 2-1 Win. Kudos to James Rodriguez for a sensational World Cup, in which he could still win Golden Boot even after going out with two games left.
Things might take a very dark turn at the World Cup on Friday as host Brazil is looking incredibly vulnerable. What is going to happen when Brazil ultimately loses to a streaking Colombia side in Fortaleza, on home ground?
That’s what I believe is going to happen. After all, Colombia is simply looking like the better team. James Rodriguez is a goal machine who is shining brighter than Brazil’s Neymar. His 5 goals leads the World Cup. James is more than just goals, though. His boundless energy is sensational to watch and he is always there for his teammates.
Add Jackson Martinez, Juan Cuadrado and a solid defense including surprise goalkeeper David Ospina, who has turned heads with stable play, and you have a team that is truly poised for greatness. If the team had Rodamel Falcao, it’s star striker who is out due to a knee injury, and the team would more than likely be Champion favorites.
Colombia is playing old school Brazilian soccer, mirroring the “joga bonito” brilliance from days of old.
Brazil is looking very shaky so far. The team had a fortuitous penalty in its opener vs Croatia, tied Mexico 0-0 and then almost lost to Chile in the around of 16. The pressure Brazil has on its shoulders showed after the Chile win, when players cried tears of relief on the field.
The team has been overly reliant on star Neymar. Consistently, Neymar, who has 4 goals, is the only scoring threat Brazil has had. The back line has also looked terrible, there’s simply no way to sugarcoat that. Goalkeeper Julio Caesar was forced to save the team when it went to penalties against Chile. Without him, Brazil wouldn’t be playing on Friday.
So, I really believe that Colombia will beat Brazil today. What will happen when, again, Brazil loses on home soil? In 1950, Brazil lost the World Cup final to Uruguay at the Maracana. Players had to face the resentment from that game for the remainder of their lives. I think the same thing will ultimately happen to this team when it loses. The backlash will be horrible.
More than any team since England 1966, the pressure will be on this host nation to prevail and there will be no excuse for a team that honestly doesn’t have the talent to do it.
Brazil leads all countries with 5 World Cup trophies. Like Alabama football and Kentucky basketball, a championship isn’t just something that’s dreamt of, it is completely expected.
Neymar might go down as one of the two or three best Brazilians to ever play. It’s a shame that his nation might never let him live a home World Cup loss down.