Brazil lost in Russian Kazan and left: Saddest moment!

Brazil lost in Russian Kazan and left: Saddest moment!

Javier Howell
July 11, 2018

- Why has World Cup been full of surprises?

Compelling, that is, until one considers the counter-examples of France and England.

Still, the change in shape did not appear to bother the tournament's top-scorers in an absorbing first half, both teams threatening a breakthrough as they refused to be overawed by the occasion.

Pogba had an effort originally credited to him, later recorded as an own goal by Australia's Aziz Behich, and has played a key role in most of his country's best attacking moments.

But it is now Belgium's Eden Hazard who is making the strongest bid for that crown. This is only the fifth time that has happened (after 1934, 1966, 1982 and 2006). Russian Federation 2018 was supposed to be his time, even if he had missed a chunk of the 2017/2018 season due to a foot injury. It reflects how western Europe has become the epicenter of football wealth and innovation and how South America has fallen behind.

Danilo played in Brazil's opener against Switzerland but missed the matches against Costa Rica and Serbia because of a right hip injury sustained in training.

"I can not wait to get started and to meet my new team-mates". "Maybe in the World Cup or Euros (before) some players didn't have the feeling of winning at all". The impression, increasingly, is that all that remains of Brazil's heydays are fumes.

Brazil overcame Mexico in the round of 16, but then suffered a 1-2 defeat to Belgium in the quarterfinals of the competition on Friday. But we will be ready because we have an extremely good state of mind, and it is the semi-finals in the World Cup.

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The Belgium assistant coach was formerly a World Cup victor with Les Bleus in 1998.

In the Kazan quarter-final, Fellaini rewarded coach Roberto Martinez with 90 minutes of hassling, harrying and sometimes hacking that played havoc with the flow of Brazil's vaunted midfield.

Brazil almost dug themselves out of it. Renato Augusto's brilliant header gave his team hope, cutting the lead in half with 14 minutes to go before stoppage time. Instead, the 26-year-old playmaker regressed, becoming the butt of jokes because of his theatrics and flops.

"It's a unique opportunity for all the team, for all of Belgium, for all the hard work that has been done, not just in the past two years but the last 10 to 15 years developing these young players".

The side that knocks Brazil out of a World Cup may not always get the credit they deserve.

Brazil's conquerers Belgium will now face France next week for a place in the World Cup final - meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Brazil manager Tite will remain in his post despite the disappointing tournament performance.

The group stage was spectacular. No host nation has won the World Cup since France in 1998.