How Brazil vs. Chile will be seen in 1, 4, and 20 years from now

REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Our views of World Cup football matches change over time. Nostalgia raises great games into All Time Classics, outlier results form a “turning point” in post hoc narrative, and brutal 120 minute contests are eventually reduced to mere talking points.

Though the 2014 World Cup is far from over and the final result of the tournament will no doubt change our perception of yesterday’s epic penalty shootout between Brazil and Chile, it’s fun to speculate how the game might be perceived in the near and far future.

One Year From Now

After the dust settles from a raucous 2014 World Cup, Chile will host the 2015 Copa America, and several bright minds will put together their team analyses ahead of time.

Key in their minds will be Jorge Sampaoli’s 2014 round of 16 loss to Brazil. Though Chile will still be regarded as noble losers, their weaknesses will be more apparent.

As against the Netherlands, Chile were adventurous in moving forward and fighting for possession but failed to create truly dangerous chances save for Pinilla’s crossbar smash in the second period of extra time.

“Though Alexis Sanchez worked tirelessly in the summer before he became a breakout star with Arsenal in the Premier League, Chile were without a target man in Eduardo Vargas,” someone might write. “To succeed in this, the most wide open Copa in years, Chile will need to be more direct in attack, better able to carve out space in the final third.”   

Four Years from Now

As journalists begin to arrive in Russia, expectations for Brazil will be greatly tempered compared to years past (depending on how they fare in the rest of this World Cup, of course).

Some will compare Phil Scolari’s Brazil to Mario Zagallo’s 1974 Brazil, generally regarded as a negative iteration which shamed the great 1970 team. When trying to pinpoint when the “samba myth” of Brazilian football finally stopped, one writer will point to their near-death experience against Chile in 2014.

“Though the goalless draw in USA ‘94 caused a great deal of worry, Brazil went on to produce an exciting generation in Ronaldinho, Romario and Ronaldo in the late nineties and early noughts to preserve some of the mystique of the yellow shirt.

“Yet one could still sense that the arc of history was bending away from the Selecao. It took the sight of Jo and Fred silencing a raucous crowd on Brazilian soil, and the horror of Chile’s Pinilla hitting the bar in extra time, to hammer it home. The music had stopped. Brazil was another South American powerhouse alongside the rest.”

Twenty Years from Now

A Guardian by Tesco’s journalist gets an assignment ahead of the 2034 World Cup in Mongolia—write a Top Ten Important but Forgotten World Cup Matches.

Scrambling through the last century of World Cups, she remembers the epic round of 16 battle in which Chile nearly sent out eventual 2014 World Cup finalists Brazil.

Though the match became famous for showcasing some major weaknesses in a heavily favoured home side, she instead focuses on the overlooked penalty shootout.

“A maligned Championship goalkeeper on loan to an MLS franchise that hadn’t made a post-season appearance in its seven years’ existence becomes man of the match for one of the most feared soccer nations on the planet.

To this day it remains Julio Cesar’s happiest footballing memory. Though the game led far too many to believe Brazil’s time as the premier school of stylistic football was over, Cesar’s performance should have forever ended the myth of the ‘weak’ Brazilian No. 1.”

Though some commenters—hoveling in their World Government appointed burrows in the giant underground hive the vast majority of humanity fled to after the Orion Flares of 2027—post up old HoloTubes showing the weakly-taken penalties as proof Julio Cesar didn’t have to do all that much to stop them, the author stands by the piece.  

How Brazil vs. Chile will be seen in 1, 4, and 20 years from now
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