Sports

Brazil’s greatest footballing tragedy a testament to structural racism

While losing 7-1 to Germany in 2014 certainly hurt, Brazil's most shameful defeat came at the hands of neighbors Uruguay

maracanazo brazil football uruguay
Goalkeeper Barbosa was scapegoated for the 1950 defeat. Photo: Public Archive

When one thinks of Brazil’s biggest sporting tragedies, the mind immediately wanders to the 2014 World Cup semifinals, when the national football team was destroyed by champions-in-waiting Germany, seven goals to one, in front of their home fans. However, the defeat pales in comparison to the significance of a loss suffered 70 years ago today, when Brazil saw the World Cup trophy slip through its fingers in front of almost 200,000 fans in Rio de Janeiro.

The “Maracanazo” of 1950 — when Brazil lost 2-1 to Uruguay and saw their tiny neighbors from the south crowned world champions...

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