Its Holland vs. Brazil, kick-off is minutes away, and a random bar at Cape Town's Waterfront is oozing intensity. The Brazil fans are singing and chanting, cheering and clapping - this is their world cup to win!! Not long after the starting whistle is blown Brazil is running circles around the Dutch defense, and soon rewards themselves with the first goal - making it look like a possible bloodbath is at hand. The fans in the bar are beside themselves. Brazil fans are professional - their cheering and celebration is almost choreographed - and their excitement comes from deep within their hearts.
Well, as we all know by now, the tide changed and the Dutch buckled down and went back to the basics. Their first goal found hundreds of Dutch fans who must have been sitting silent in the bar - almost as if they were knowingly biding their time. The Dutch roar, and the shock of the goal, silenced the Brazilians...but only for a second. They were not to be denied and soon enough were back on their feet cheering and chanting, almost as if the second goal had been scored by their beloved team. Now that the Dutch had made their presence known, the war was on - a fan war...not like the wars that we all expect of the hooligan fans from the likes of the English and Russian leagues, but a war of celebration!! Holland struck again - which was another knock down blow for the Brazilian fans, but again, a little stunned, they stood back up and in utter defiance, continued the chanting and cheering with even greater intensity.
The final blow was in the form of a red card which the Brazilian fans just couldnt recover from. The Dutch were now on their feet - cheering, screaming, taunting - and the Brazilians just sat in their own silence - stunned. The final whistle ended the battle and what happened next defines this years World Cup.
In the face of taunts and cheers which pointed out the obvious - every Brazilian in the bar stood up, and gave the Dutch fans a congratulatory round of applause, backed-up with a few handshakes and pats on the back. After which they were back on their feet chanting and cheering...they were not going to let their disappointment turn to anger, nor were they going to hate their team for the loss or hate the Dutch for their win. Does this reaction ring a bell??
I looked on in awe