FIFA U17 World Cup: 66,000 strong Salt Lake Stadium spectators had 'whacked' the Brazil players out of their minds
“Be careful what you ask for,” goes an anonymous truism. Brazil had asked for it and they got it. And for quite a while it proved to be a detriment rather than an aid. Supporters were heavily stacked up in favour of the young ‘Verde-Amarelas’ (yellow-green), as the Brazilian team is nicknamed beside being called the Seleção and that seemingly threw the colts off in the first half.
This revelation came from none other than, Carlos Amadeu, the Brazil U17 World Cup coach at the post-match conference. Speaking on the factors that became decisive in this match he said, “Everything had an influence in the game. Sure the weather was hot and humid and it affected the quality of the game – in fact, it affected both the teams equally. Germans had an advantage before because they had two days of rest more than us because they played two games before us in the last round. But I’m really happy how our team played the match – it was a physical match and also our boys were mentally too strong today.”
He then went on to put the things in perspective, things that we either take for granted or are unaware of, and said, “You have to think that the players were playing the game of their life – they were playing in front of 66,000 plus spectators – their mind was totally whacked out – it was tied up - it is a mental game.”
But the same crowd came through for them. Even when the Germans went ahead converting the penalty in the 20th minute, the supporters didn’t desert them. In the end, now that he had successfully seen the back of the Germans, he even accorded a generous certificate for each member of the crowd to hang on their respective doors.
“10/10,” said Amadeu when asked to rate the received support. Embedded in his worldly way of seeing things he mentioned, “Congratulations to the organizers, for all the facilities – the beautiful stadium you have here - the pitch, the dressing room, all is huge for us – special to play here – also the way the fans supported the game – they were very polite – even supported Brazil when Germany was playing a great game. You were cheering and clapping for us – the way that you were supporting us was beautiful and we are really happy to show you a game like this and it was a really great match.”
He also reminded us that a great match is not only that which is played well but also that which should be played fairly. Earlier, the German coach, Christian Wueck, had spewed his grouse against Jair Marrufo, the American referee who had officiated the match.
Calmly handling the volatile situation he said, “I think that there are some commentaries and there are people specialised to evaluate what happened. For me, my role is to keep my players playing focusing in the game without thinking what the referee is doing. This is my role – there are people to do other things.”
Further clarifying that, he said, “I didn’t see this point exactly. I saw that the German coach was unhappy with the moment and the players. Since I didn’t see it in the match I cannot say,” he laid down his game ideology when he said, “But if it happens we have to tell you it’s not our style. We are here to play football. One example of this is that we have just one yellow card in five games. If that happens we will talk with our player."
He then crowned his emphasis on fair play by mentioning, “This team has won the fair play trophy both in U17 and U15 South American Championships – so fair play is one of the things that is something which is very important for us."
It was also understood that remaining balanced in ones approach is also what has tried to imbibe in his players. “We are balanced. We are balanced when we win and also when we lose. We cannot be too euphoric when we win and not too sad when we lose. We remain balanced as we are in our life.”
Maybe that balance when things don’t their way helped salvage the situation for them, especially in the second half. He was succinct in his acknowledgement, saying, "The German coach had a good strategy – he blocked our midfielders and most importantly neutralized our offensive system. Their players played direct football from the defensive line to the offensive line – this caused some problems for our left back – it was his first game in the competition – the German coach knew this and was strong in the first half."
Then the 71st minute came and with it came the equaliser. Another five more minutes and a 25-yard beauty would give them the lead. Almost a childlike happiness played upon Amadeu’s face when he commented about those two goals thus: “That is the beauty of football, isn’t it? Weverson, who had lost his position, had the personality to try that shot. He risked everything with that shot. What a great goal he scored. Also Paul – again a beautiful goal – he always appears in moments like this – in our South American championships – it happened the same against Venezuela when he scored a similar goal.”
Now with a difficult game done and dusted, the Germans conquered, Amadeu wants to admit some leniency in his ‘balance’. “Today we built a really good win – a good victory. So today is the day to enjoy. Enjoy the moments, to talk to our family and celebrate with our partners, our technical staff here. We are balanced but today we enjoy, tomorrow we will think about England," he signed off sheepishly.