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After the drubbing in the World Cup semifinal and later in the match against the Netherlands, the situation in Brazil is really a mix of mutiny and mourning. No, the team didn’t win the Cup, defying a much-touted Goldman Sach report released in May this year saying that it would. As a disoriented, delirious and disgruntled Brazil witnesses a final that would either immortalise Lionel Messi or would enshrine German method-acting as the pinnacle of football, we, along with millions of poor and jobless Brazilians, wonder if the pain was worth the meagre gain. Naturally, sporting tournaments are big gambles for host countries, and in this instance, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Sao Paolo and other cities have paid the price for a risqué regime opting for glamour instead of public good. Great stadia have been built, with the intention of revving up the economy, attracting public and private investments and sponsorships for many an infrastructural project that would lift Brazil from the longstanding ignominy of being a third world country, fighting same old hunger games, sanitation wars, health battles along with football in its favelas. But have their succeeded? Bullets and balls have the same currency amongst Brazil’s gangsta brigade, its young and restless. As the spanking sporting amphitheatres showcased by the Dilma Rousseff government were presented as the aphrodisiac to hook international eyeballs on one hand and as amnesiac administered to forget the pain of $14 billion ill-spent in this grand theatre of extravaganza on the other, the ghost of hungry children crying out for food haunted the conscience of many. Can the razzle-dazzle of the final encounter in Rio really airbrush the missteps that characterised this Brazilian bombast? Or, is it unfair that we expect third world countries not to have any grander aspirations, and chide them on their ‘wastefulness’, even as the West carries out wasteful and bloody wars in different parts of the world?            
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