Stories about Brazil

In Messi I believe!

It has been a long time coming. Since Euro 2008, the Germans have been hovering around the edges of supremacy. Their only crime being that Spain, forever the underachievers had been pegged by fate as its darling. What Jürgen Klinsman started at World Cup 2006 resulted in a finals defeat to the Spanish in Euro 2008, a semi-final defeat to the same opposition at South Africa 2010 and the Italians in the semi-finals of Euro 2012. This time, however, the Spanish have been vanquished by their own doing. The once-famed Brazilians have been annihilated in an absurd seven minute stretch of play that will linger on as a scar ...

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For the last time, Germany did not “rape” Brazil!

The whole world watched with a mixture of great shock, glee, anticipation and disappointment as Germany beat Brazil by an impressive 7-1 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final. As a long-time fan of Brazil, I too was quite appalled. However, my dismay wasn’t because Brazil lost (it’s only a game after all, and countries win and lose all the time; it’s nothing new), it was more so due to the reaction elicited among many fans, especially over social media. They went so far as to state the most despicable of all metaphors in existence, ‘Germany raped Brazil’. This inappropriate metaphor was especially ubiquitous over Twitter, ...

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Where did the voodoo go wrong?

A skilful elemental shaman is a fearsome thing; he can smite the mightiest of warriors and bring down the holiest of priests, a man equally capable of healing the weak and of destroying the powerful. That, however, is only true in World of Warcraft. In reality, shamans are the ‘holy’ equivalent of the homeless man who talks into his cup. This World Cup though has seen its fair share of priests and shamans claiming use of their ‘powers’ to influence matches. It started off with a Ghanaian witch doctor claiming to be behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury worries before Portugal’s match ...

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Brazil versus Germany in pictures

The Brazil versus Germany semi-final was an exhilarating watch. If you had gone to the fridge to grab a snack in the first half, bad luck; you are certain to have missed at least four goals. It’s not just that five-time World Cup champs Brazil were massacred in their backyard while playing host, but the fact that Germany scored so many goals that there was hardly time for a replay before they scored another one that made the game so thoroughly enjoyable.   There was such shock around the situation that social media was abuzz. My Twitter timeline had me in splits, ...

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Four ways Pakistani cricket is like Argentinian football

I was barely six-years-old when Diego Maradona’s individual brilliance almost singlehandedly won the World Cup for Argentina in Mexico. For a boy watching the event with his sports crazy family, the event was electric, with the iconic images of Maradona dancing through the opposition, and eventually lifting the trophy, forever imprinted in my brain. Equally iconic were the images of Maradona crying four years later, after his side was cruelly penalised by the referee in the final against West Germany. Even later, when Maradona shed tears after struggling with substance abuse, I shared his pain, and supported my hero, ignoring the fact that he ...

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Will Germany lift the cup in 2014 FIFA World Cup?

With 136 goals in the group stages alone, the 2014 edition of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil seems to be well on its way to break the record for most goals scored in the history of the event (France 1998 – 171 goals).  Labelled by some as the most exciting World Cup till date, fans around the globe have been glued to their television sets, regardless of the time difference. A number of big teams, including defending champions Spain, former champions Italy and England along with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, have been shown the door before the knockout phase, which begins in a few ...

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2014 FIFA World Cup: The good, the bad and the ugly

The Brazilian Carnival is one of the world’s most colourful and exhilarating events – Outdoor parties, colourful performers, magnificent floats, talented musicians. It truly is a fine exhibition of the Brazilian culture. The world was expecting a similarly elating event when the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony kicked off on June 12, 2014, at Arena Corinthians Stadium in Sao Paulo. Unfortunately, it turned out to be perhaps the worst World Cup opening ceremonies ever. The organisers of the event failed to understand that Brazil is more than just talented football players and colourful costumes. It has a rich culture ...

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Want to learn about the 2014 FIFA World Cup? Go to Lyari, Pakistan’s mini Brazil

It is said that things are not always the same on the inside as they may seem on the outside. Don’t judge a book by its cover. The same phrase can be said for Lyari’s current situation. Lyari is one of the oldest and most densely populated areas of Karachi, where people belonging from different races and ethnicities have been living together for years. However, people need to understand that Lyari’s real identity has been manipulated and the area is wrongly presented as a symbol of terror and fear. It is not as bad as it is portrayed by the media or discussed ...

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Will Spain be able to recover from the 2014 World Cup debacle?

How ironic is it that Spain had a new king just hours after the country’s football team relinquished their crown in Brazil? And how symbolic is it that it happened at the Maracana Stadium? Oh the Maracana. While Brazil still sees ghosts of 1950 and Uruguay, there will be new skeletons in the closet for Spain for years to come at this iconic venue, for this is the ground that finally saw the end of Spain’s glorious era. All great teams have a cycle. And alas, Spain’s has ended. It was Chile, one of the teams Spain defeated on the way to World Cup glory four ...

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Parkour boys of Quetta: Fighting fear… like a boss

I didn’t really know what parkour was, until I came across a recent article about some boys from Quetta’s Hazara town who practise this activity. I had come across references to free running (a more acrobatic version of parkour) on television previously, but since I’m the kind of old soul who believes that doing anything which might result in a serious injury is a cry for attention, I never gave it any. It had an aura of belonging to the seedy world of graffiti, tattoos, drugs and gangs and I am, as I mentioned earlier, an old soul. After reading the article and watching ...

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