Brazil 1 – 0 Sweden: His Name is Pato.
By Bruno Romani.
To start talking about this match, it is mandatory to forget that it celebrated the 50th anniversary of Brazil’s first World Cup. In the 58 final, Brazil had Zito, Vavá, Didi, Garrincha, Nilton Santos besides a youngster named Pelé. In 08, Brazil sent to the pit Richarlysson, Josué, Júlio Baptista, Gilberto Silva and an uninspired Luis Fabiano. The only island of flair was the duo Robinho-Diego.
Probably, it was after the 5-2 in the 58 final that Sweden learned that against Brazil, the order of the day is “defende first, counter attack if possible.” And this is what happened. Sweden blocked all actions of Brazil, making any attempts of penetration in through the middle of the defense impossible. Given the poor qualities in the attack of the two side backs and the lack of mobility of the midfielders, the match seemed a less violent version of rugby. The period between the 25th and the 35th marks of the first-half was the best moment of Brazil in the match, with Diego and Robinho taking a few defenders to dance.
The second-half and Sweden grew. Luckly, Lúcio and Alex played a perfect match. But there’s something wrong when the best players of the Brazilian squad are defenders.
With 15 minutes into the second-half, Dunga brought the future to celebrate the past. 6 players of the Olympic squad (Anderson, Pato, Hernanes, Rafinha, Marcelo and Thiago Neves) were sent to the pitch. Anderson had the best perfomance, spicying up the midfield, but all of them played better than the older players.
However, if 50 years ago, Sweden introduced to the World a teenager who later became the king of football, now history repeats itself. Alexandre Pato did not waste the only chance he had after stealing the ball from the keeper. It was a moment of luck and intelligence. The shot of Pato was brilliant. If Pato is far from being the king of football (actually not even his performance was spectacular), this goal shows that the kid has the sparkles of luck and flair of the greatest players.
Hopefully in 50 years from now, we will remember Pato.