FORTALEZA, Brazil - Brazil was left nearly on the verge of a nervous breakdown, while Mexico was left on the verge of making history. A 0-0 score line does not condemn the alleged perpetrator, but it does revindicate the alleged victim.
Player for player, Brazil will always be better than Mexico. Team against team, Mexico will always have the last word, because they always make the extra effort when playing against Brazil.The 0-0 score hurts Brazil, yet it revitalizes Mexico. The result of the confrontation remains inconclusive.
1. Brazil had the pressure to win; they are the hosts, playing at their stadium. They own the referees, the World Cup, history, and of course, they are the owners of their own destiny.
2. On the other hand, Mexico barely felt compelled to renounce and go against what recent past events anticipated. They were simply looking to rid themselves from the disastrous events of 2013, which include the shameful CONCACAF six-team final qualifying round. In a sense, they wanted to wipe the slate clean.
In addition, the 0-0 score line offers little in the form of compensation: a mere point each. Note: Neymar and Marcelo had both promised perfection. They had promised to win, not only that, but to thrash the opposition and above all, impress the fans with the ultimate reward of 9 points.
Mexico has forced them to swear in vain, to go back on their word. This Tuesday, Mexico has given hope to its 130 million national fans, better still, it has given the nearly 400 million Brazilians cause to ruminate, distrust in, and doubt Brazil's chances. For the first time in fours years, the inhabitants of the most powerful country in South America doubt their rather hasty predictions of Brazil becoming world champions.
On Tuesday, Mexico made us doubt whether Brazil really have what it takes. Mexico's situation is an easy one to explain. Their very own Miguel Herrera is quick to point out that his tactics are not based on any complicated mathematical equations. "Football is quite simple; really, we only need to work hard in order to achieve our objectives." Only a few days ago, we explained why Mexico "should" be expected to fail during this World Cup. Nevertheless, as a final remark, we went on to present reasons as to why Mexico "should not" fail during this World Cup.
And our final remarks seem to be being followed to the letter. Those players lacking in hope, considered by many as hopeless, are now disproving the destiny that had been set out for them by world-renowned experts all over the globe, including yours truly. Thousands of fans in a complete U-turn have gone from accepting defeat to being overjoyed at the prospect of victory. Take note that as fans, they are perfectly entitled to such changes of opinion.
In the Mixed Zone, we asked several of the selected players when they had made a pact with the Gods of European football, when had they come down from Olympus in order to grant them with such opportunities as they have had during this World Cup?
The answer came in the form of a statement regarding the Mexican footballer, a statement that is likely to go down in history, a statement that their very own coach, Herrera, posted on his Twitter account. Of course the statement follows Herrera's typical tone, whereby he does not bow down to the rules of etiquette. The hashtag read #MéxicoLindoyQuéHuevos.
It's not only a credit to Miguel "Piojo" Herrera that his players have chosen to play at this frantic, overwhelming, exhausting and at times alienating pace. The players themselves must also be given credit for being selfless, purified souls, willing to sacrifice, and become martyrs. They are willing to be pawns in this big strategic game of chess, with the end goal of being able to play some good football. This is why Mexico, without having won, without having even scored, managed to make the giant stumble.
At the press conference, Herrera refused to accept it; after the 0-0 draw, Brazil has lost a certain amount of their fear factor, while Mexico has gained a certain amount of respect from football supporters around the world.
In addition, Mexico has made a bold statement: Brazil is still Brazil, but Brazil is not the same Brazil of before. A bold statement, yet quite an obvious one nevertheless.
Miguel Herrera is right in making it clear that Mexico hasn't in fact won anything yet. Not just because it is true, but because above all, it's a very clever psychological trick, involving disassociation. Through disassociation, you cannot give up on a goal, because the goal does not exist, as it was never established.
Napoleon also resorted to this strategy. He would rally his troops, yet he would never let them know where, against whom and against how many the next battle would be. His justification for this was that nobody can fear what they don't know exists. During one of his typical outbursts, José Mourinho was quoted as saying, "A draw is a victory for mediocre teams and a mere consolation prize for the castrated."
If this is the case, then Luiz Felipe Scolari doesn't regret tying, and Miguel Herrera won't celebrate having drawn.