So Brazil win the Copa America, despite all the pre-match hype suggesting an Argentinian win. This is a country that knows how to win. It’s in their football DNA. This batch of Brazilians may not match teams of the past for flair, verve and individual briliance, but they delivered when it mattered the most.
The coach, Dunga, gave an insight into ther victory. He said,” We came to rescue the self-esteem of the Brazilian worker, who wakes up in the morning and returns home late at night, whose only satisfaction in life is seeing Brazil win a football match.”
This is a cause. A powerful reason why. A powerful reason to win. A great cause can be worth another player. In fact it is the twelfth player. The hidden power that makes a team better than its individual parts. The hidden power that creates miracle moments in sport.
A cause means that you are playing for more than just yourself. More than just your wage packet. It creates an emotional force that binds all the team together. It creates unity. A sense of oneness. No difference. All desiring of the same outcome. For the same reasons.
The stronger the feeling the cause creates, the more effective it is. Rescuing the self-esteem of the Brazilian worker…that works on a number of levels; the notion of rescuing, or being rescuers, makes the players feel like Superman, empowered to make a difference, to change peoples lives, if just for that night.
Rescuing their self-esteem, gives the players a clear emotional sense of what they are liberating. The image of the Brazilian worker means that all the players will have a clear picture in their minds of what this person looks like. They will know someone like this personally. Their struggles to make ends meet. The daily grind. Life patterns which revolve around work. Doing what they can to survive.
This gives the players the sense of privilige they have as footballers. These workers cannot be footballers. We can. But as Brazilians we are all the same. We represent you. We will not let you down. We will give you that moment of satisfaction.
In the players hearts they have a powerful reason why to win. In their minds they have a clear picture of who they want to win for. Hearts and minds aligned to one cause. Whatever cause Argentina had, it wasn’t as powerful as this one.