What Happened At 'Mineirazo' 2014 And What The Future Holds For Brazilian Football

What Happened At 'Mineirazo' 2014 And What The Future Holds For Brazilian Football

Luis Filipe Scolari said it was the worst day of his life.
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July 8th, 2014

Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

A crowd of 60,000 rapturous fans in yellow and green was ready for a party. On a perfect 72 degree night, the Himno Nacional Brasileiro was ringing around Mineirão as the players began to soak in the moment. The Brazilian National Team had just made the Semi-Finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on home soil and are one game away from a final against rival Argentina in the Estádio Maracana in Rio.

In their way was Germany, who had entered their fourth straight World Cup Semi-Final with an undefeated record and were the second rank team in the world, one place ahead of Brazil. Victory would bring jubilation to a nation that hadn't seen a world final cup final since 2002. Defeat would mean national humiliation and failure. It was World Cup or bust for Brazil.

The opening 10 minutes of the match were live and well, with both sides attacking the opposing team's goal with precision. The party was put on hold when German Midfielder Thomas Müller opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he broke free from a defender on the first corner kick for Germany.

It wasn't long until Germany found their second goal, a 23rd-minute strike scored by Miroslav Klose, who became the all-time leading World Cup goal-scorer with 16 total goals. Fans began to worry and the stadium became suddenly quiet. Then things went from bad to worse.

Germany began tearing Brazil apart, scoring three goals in the next six minutes, and before the half hour mark, the score was 5-0. It was the most shocking five minutes of any World Cup anyone has ever seen.

Watching the on-field massacre on live television didn't compare to what the fans and players in the stadium were seeing. Fans were crying, fights broke out in the crowd and outside of the stadium (with luckily no civilian casualties), and the Brazilian players were living a nightmare. The Germans kept cool and calm, did not celebrate often, and would win the game 7-1, the largest deficit ever in a World Cup Semifinal.

It is considered by many to be one of the most shocking results ever in a World Cup. This game was dubbed the "Mineirazo" or "Mineirão Blow." Many argued that the result was even worse than the "Maracañazo" when Brazil lost the 1950 World Cup Final on home soil to Uruguay. Many pundits considered the game a "National Tragedy."

Brazilian Manager Felipe Scolari believed the game was "the worst day of [his] life" and later resigned from his position. German Midfielder Toni Kroos thought that Brazil "[was] not at their best" but believed that Brazil will "get back on the right track" sooner than later.

After the World Cup, the future of Brazilian Football was uncertain. Old faces were retiring and former national team manager Dunga had returned to the team for a second stint. The Copa America was around the corner and Brazil needed to heal some wounds.

With Neymar healthy and the additions of Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus to the squad, Brazil rattled off eight straight wins, including the group stage matches during the 2015 Copa America. Unfortunately, celebration was again short lived with a quarter-final loss against Peru. Again, Brazil's future is still in question. But one shimmer of light was seen at the end of the tunnel.

Brazil was hosting the 2016 Olympics and a chance at Olympic soccer gold would help qualm the wounds endured. With the help of Neymar and Gabriel and a hungry u23 Brazilian team, they were able to make the gold medal game.

In their way was once again was Germany, and Brazil had a little chip on their shoulder. The game was tied 1-1 before penalty kicks, in which Neymar converted the winning penalty to send Rio into a frenzy. It was the first Olympic gold medal for the Brazilian Football Association and brought a sigh of relief to a national team who needed to win more than any other nation.

Currently, Brazil has made their way back to a world number one ranking, winning 10 out of the last 11 games and leading their group in World Cup QualIfying in CONMEBOL (South America). Wins over Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, and Colombia have given them enough credentials to earn that elusive number one rank.

The future of Brazilian Football seems bright for the World Cup in Russia next summer, but Brazil must not go backward. Their fans and nation are counting on them to deliver them a World Cup. It is the only way "Mineirazo" can be forgiven.

Cover Image Credit: The Independent

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Tips On How To Shoot Your Shot

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It's summer time and it's time for that summer glow. What better way to get that, than to start going for what you want. Yes ladies, I am talking about shooting your shot. If you don't know what "shooting your shot" is, it's basically just taking matters into your own hands. It means not waiting on the opportunity to come to you, but going for it instead. When I say "shooting your shot", I am not just talking about finally speaking to your crush. I'm also talking about jobs, networking, and so many more things. This is for girls who are scared to make that one move. Taking matters into your own hands is important. You shouldn't just sit and let life pass you by because you're scared. Who cares what others might say or think.

1. Identify the hoop

Okay, I know the step sounds corny. Just think about it though, you can't properly shoot your shot if you don't know where to shoot it. For example, if you want to talk to a boy you wouldn't tell his ex- girlfriend. You would clearly, approach him instead. So figure out where exactly you want to shoot.

2. Why shoot it?

Figure out why you want to shoot this shot. Doing this will help you realize if it's worth it. Why waste your time shooting your shot, if it's not something you truly want. You could be shooting this because you want to get advice, network, relationship, there could be a number of reasons. Whatever your reason is, just make sure you mention that.

3. How to shoot it

Do you want to shoot a three-point shot or do you want to dunk? Once you figure out what you truly want, then you could figure out how to get it. You can shoot your shot in many different ways. You can do it via "DM's" on Instagram, Twitter, basically any social media platform. If you want to keep it professional, then you can do it via email. If you have their number, then use that. If you're feeling really confident then do it in person. Either way, just remember how you do it matters.

4. Be prepared to get your shot blocked

With shooting your shot, you got to know that it might not make it in the hoop. Steph Curry even misses sometimes, well maybe not often but you know what I mean. Just don't go into shooting your shot thinking that you're gonna score. If you do get rejected, don't take it personal. Just take it as a learning experience and respect their decision.

5. Shoot it!

Okay, so now you can stop dribbling and finally shoot that shot. Go for it. You'll never know if you can make it, if you don't try. If it doesn't make it in, just keep it moving.


Cover Image Credit: http://www.complex.com

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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