Ramires, Oscar and Willian all started as Brazil ended their home World Cup with another disappointing loss, this time at the hands of the Dutch in the third place playoff.
Chelsea’s three representatives in the Selecao all started together for the first time this tournament and ex-Blue David Luiz also played in central defence, keeping his place despite a frankly dismal display against the Germans in the semi-finals.
Brazil support was as vociferous as ever, however the fans refused to allow Scolari et al to think they have forgotten the debacle of the semi final, as the names of misfiring striker Fred and indeed Scolari himself were met with tremendous boos as they were read from the tannoy system.
The arrival of Thiago Silva – sorely missed in the semi-final at the heart of Brazilian defence – offered Brazilian fans some heart that at least a respectable scoreline could be achieved, let alone a win. However, it soon became apparent that this was not to be.
Silva pulled back a former Chelsea man in Arjen Robben to concede a penalty only three minutes in, which Manchester United’s Robin van Persie duly dispatched past Julio Cesar. And just like that, Brazil fans mood had changed and flashbacks of the previous game came flooding to mind – the crowd were once again stunned into silence.
Barely quarter of an hour later and Netherlands had doubled their advantage, and much like against Germany, it was David Luiz who was at fault. Rather than head it away and out for a corner, instead Luiz headed it back into the danger area, and the clearance was met by Daley Blind, with the full-back scoring his first international goal.
Brazil did slowly work their way back into the game as the first half wore on, but no breakthrough was apparent and it still was not enough to avoid getting booed off at half time.
That said, for all of Brazil’s defensive frailties, Netherlands were the well-oiled attacking machine they have been all tournament, creating slick moves with Arjen Robben as always at the centre of everything good about the Dutch.
The second half was very much a non-event as Netherlands seemed content with the two goals and Brazil seemed resigned to the fact they would lose, with the pace of the game dissipating out into nothing more than a walk.
Brazil’s best chance fell to the diminutive figure of Ramires, who drilled a shot just wide of Jasper Cillessen’s goal, while the only other highlight (or rather, lowlight) for Brazil was Oscar’s booking for diving.
However, there was to be one more goal as Georginio Wijnaldum scored his first goal of the tournament in stoppage time.
After a tournament which – admittedly through favourable refereeing and a hefty reliance on an in-form Neymar – started so promisingly for the hosts and five time world champions, it will be interesting to see how such a disappointing finale to the campaign will affect our trio as they return to pre-season.
Ramires and Willian were not exactly mainstays in the team so may avoid being pinpointed in the inevitable scathing criticism of the team in days to come, and Neymar aside, Oscar was one of the few consistently bright lights for this Brazil team and likewise can hold his head high. However, the crux of the matter is that Brazil have desperately let their fans down with how the tournament ended for them and so psychologically this could affect the trio ahead of the start of the new Premier League campaign. Whether it does or not, only time will tell.