Though many football pundits will tell you the Brazilian game was never the same after Brazil’s World Cup triumph in Mexico in 1970, particularly after the rank brutality of the Pele-less side in 1974, the popular ideal of Samba football lived on for years. Certainly one could argue that Tele Santana’s 1982 team led by the likes of Socrates and Falcao certainly emulated the Selecao of old, and there were flashes of the erstwhile Brazil in the play of the 2002 team which triumphed over a lacklustre Germany. But it was never quite the same; something about those Joga Bonito Nike ads rang a little hollow.
However, Samba football as an idea finally died one year ago today. After a sloppy, uninspiring World Cup tournament, the Selecao were utterly destroyed in what /r/soccer’s headline rightly called “the seven minutes that shook the world.” Four goals conceded to Germany a 7 minute span in the semifinals saw Brazil’s dream of righting the wrong of losing the World Cup on home soil in 1950 crash and burn. They went on to lsoe the match 7-1, an unprecedented scoreline. It’s a performance that’s still jarring to watch a year later and, based on Brazil’s performance in the recent Copa America, the lessons of that day have still yet to have taken hold.