I’m sure there are tons of these throughout the world, but here are two I’ve found in American media, both worth reading:
Jeremy Stahl (senior editor at Slate): “Every German goal in its 7-1 victory over Brazil made history. Here’s how.“
Frank Foer at the New Republic: “Let the recriminations begin in Brazil, and let them begin with Scolari.” An excerpt:
The overheated will to win, therefore, is a plausible explanation. But the Brazilian game is far more broken than that.
For starters, it is riddled with corruption—a corruption that has historically haunted the national federation and extended through coaches, agents, and even journalists. You could see hints of that corruption in the ridiculous manner in which this World Cup was conceived, where cronies of club owners built palatial stadiums with an eye towards kickbacks and future profits. But how does this corruption affect the quality of the Brazilian team? By siphoning money away from important investments—in youth development, in training facilities, in stable organizations capable of nurturing talent. Instead, many of the most promising young Brazilian players are sold prematurely by shady middlemen to European squads and doomed to early and avoidable failure in their careers.
European club soccer has another debilitating effect on the Brazilian system. When those young Brazilian players are sold to the big sides in Europe, they adapt themselves to becoming disciplined specialists in big organizations—outstanding wingbacks, skilled defensive midfielders. Of course, this is also true of Germans, Spaniards, and Italians. But the immersion of Brazilian prospects in the European game has also, to some unquantifiable extent, transformed the DNA of the Brazilian game, sapping the squad of its essential identity and squelching the creativity that has characterized its best teams.