End of the World Cup, End of the World
But for some, such as the fallen Brazil, this is a World Cup that will never be over.
Published 13/07/2014 | 02:30
There is a terrible cruelty in football, which in the end is probably what makes it the most compelling thing on earth. Without that cruelty, without the "catastrophe", it would just be a form of entertainment. But there's no-one in Brazil these days who would see it as entertainment in any sense, it just goes much deeper than that.
Those of us who follow it all the time are constantly aware of this, but at a World Cup everybody understands. Men, women and children who are coming to this for a few hours of mere enjoyment may find themselves swept into a vortex of suffering. To which those who have been there all their lives will just grunt : welcome to our world.
A mere two months ago, Liverpool fans endured a "catastrophe" or two, on their way to not winning the Premier League. There was even a 10-minute period towards the end of their horrifying 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace which bore a vague resemblance to Brazil's collapse against Germany, a sense that the players were folding like a cheap suit and collapsing like a deckchair or even collapsing like a suit and folding like a cheap deckchair, all at the same time.