Brazilians bitter about their team’s disastrous World Cup performance celebrated Argentina’s defeat to Germany in the final by dancing and launching fireworks, relieved that their archrivals failed to triumph on their soil.
At a bar near Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium, Brazilians chanted “Cry! Cry! Argentina!” in a nod to the song Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.
Tens of thousands of Argentine fans who had swarmed Rio’s Copacabana beach to watch the game on a jumbo screen fell silent, while Brazilians broke into song and danced. Some even waved German flags.
“Thank God, thank God that Germany won,” Brazilian Caio Ferraz said. “If Argentina had won, they would have made fun of us for years.”
Germany became the first European country to win the Cup in Latin America, but that was not enough to persuade many Brazilians to support their southern neighbours.
Germany even humiliated Brazil in the semi-finals, trouncing the hosts 7-1. But the rivalry with Argentina trumped everything.
Seeing their rivals win in their temple of football would have deepened the nightmare for Brazilians still dizzy from Brazil’s semi-final defeat and 3-0 third-place playoff loss to the Netherlands.
Brazilians painted the German flags on their cheeks or even wore the European team’s jersey.
Brazilians and Germans hugged each other, with Europeans saying they wanted their team to win the tournament for their hosts.
“We never want Argentina to win here in Brazil. Never,” Cassio Conceicao said. “Germany respected us even though they thrashed us,” he said.
German fan Julian Deutz was happy to have Brazilian backing.
“It feels really great that Brazilian are supporting us,” he said. “But we also felt sorry for Brazil with regards of the semi-final.”
Argentina fan Sebastian Mereles of Buenos Aires was disappointed that his neighbours supported Germany.
“I think Brazilians are angry at Argentines because they can’t be in the final against us, which is the game that the entire world was waiting for,” he said.
A few Brazilians did back their South American hermanos (brothers).
“I love Argentina,” said Amarilio Carvalho, an Esperanto teacher wrapped around a white-and-blue flag, as Argentines lined up to take pictures with him before the final in Copacabana.
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