Latin America & Caribbean

World Cup defeat an opportunity for Brazil?

View from the Morro Dois Irmaos as the day begins to dawn in Rio de Janeiro on 17 May 2014 Image copyright AP
Image caption Could Brazil's defeat be the dawn of a new era in which attention shifts from football?

Brazil's shocking defeat 7-1 defeat to Germany in the World Cup may have rattled the country, but three analysts have told BBC Brasil it may also be a chance for the country to re-invent itself and prompt Brazilians to look at broader problems such as poor health and education services.

Prof Roberto DaMatta - Brazilian writer and anthropologist at the University of Notre Dame, author of Carnival, Rogues and Heroes: An Interpretation of the Brazilian Dilemma

Football has given us self-esteem, but we can't reduce Brazil to this.

We need to keep in mind that a 7-1 defeat is more than just a normal defeat. It's a clear example that we were living under an illusion.

This defeat will force us to wake up to our problems in terms of security, health and especially politics, as we will have elections in a few months.

President Dilma Rousseff is seeking a second four-year term and recent opinion polls suggest that while support is slipping, she is likely to be re-elected.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Dilma Rousseff is running for a second term in presidential elections in October

This match was the end of a cycle… What we see these days is the magic of marketing, not football. This needs to change.

The Olympics are ahead of us and this defeat means that we'll have to deal with national issues because it will put the country in the spotlight in a brutal way, especially when it comes to public policies.

Peter Hakim - president emeritus of the Washington-based think-tank Inter-American Dialogue

This feeling of shame will be fleeting. I don't think it will have a big impact on Brazil's image or its influence in the world.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The feeling of national humiliation Brazil is experiencing will soon pass, Peter Hakim thinks

Before the World Cup began, there were many negative reports in the national and international media about Brazil's failure to prepare effectively for the tournament.

The fact is that the matches have gone extremely well, the stadiums are beautiful, crowds are watching them and protests have been limited.

The World Cup is erasing Brazil's image as being a poor organiser.

Brazil's football team will not be deemed a success but the country will be seen as having fulfilled expectations.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Brazil team ahead of their thrashing by Germany

Brazilians are wise enough to be able to distinguish between football and politics. Football arouses huge passions, but this does not mean that it will have an impact on the way people vote.

Paulo Sotero - director of the Brazil Institute at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Brazil is not only the country of football. Other aspects of its society deserve attention too, like democracy, poverty reduction and the capacity it has to confront its problems.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Brazil welcomed the world successfully to the World Cup, says Paulo Sotero

Its performance in these areas will be key points in the world's perception of Brazil.

Brazil is and will still be the country of football, we will not start disliking football because of what happened.

But Brazil is also the country of Embraer [one of the world's largest aircraft manufacturers] and Embrapa [a leading agricultural research enterprise].

Brazil welcomed the world. This is good for Brazil. One of the things that Brazil needs to do is open itself to the world and these big events help.

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