Monday 20 February 2017

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

Illustration by Jim Cogan
Illustration by Jim Cogan

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.

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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.

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