The World Cup in Brazil has been everything a Football fan could have hoped for so far, plenty of goals, a special atmosphere in the country many consider to be the home of football, and incredible displays of spirit and desire from all the teams involved. In fact, perhaps the only thing missing from the tournament so far was the ‘real’ Brazil, the Selecao that we are used to seeing. A team that plays beautiful, free flowing football, a team that has helped millions around the world to fall in love with the game. 

One could highlight a multitude of reasons as to why that team was yet to show up for the tournament its people have been waiting for since 1950.

The incredible pressure to avoid a repeat of that 1950 World Cup for one, when Uruguay beat Brazil 2-1 in front of 200,000 spectators in the Maracana to win the World Cup. Felipe Scolari’s questionable decision to leave out players such as Lucas Moura and Filipe Luis, or perhaps just an overall lack of quality in a Brazil team not witnessed for the past twenty years. In fact the Selecao has already been labelled by some as potentially the worst team to ever win the World Cup. Should they achieve their goal, there are of course still two more games to be played, the first of which will be against a German side that showed their ability to adapt and grind out a victory when necessary as they did in their quarter-final against France.

Brazil had disappointed so far in the tournament, and this without facing an opposition of the highest quality, Chile proved a tough test, but can hardly be considered a powerhouse in world football. In Colombia, Brazil found themselves in front of one the most impressive sides in the World Cup so far, and finally, the team we have come to know and love showed up.

Perhaps not the best football witnessed so far in Brazil but certainly a spirit unrivalled on all fronts. The team’s ability to overcome the enormous pressure of facing an excellent Colombian side, led by the most spellbinding player in of the competition in James Rodriguez.

David Luiz epitomised that passion and that spirit in his celebration for what was a sensational free-kick.

The fire in his eyes, and the hopes of a nation carried in his expression as he ran towards the corner flag to savour the moment under a sea of yellow in the stadium. It embodied everything about the Brazilian spirit. It is a moment, that, should Brazil go on to win the tournament, will become one of the pictures of the 2014 World Cup. Comparable to Tardelli in 1982 following his goal against Germany in the final. It is a moment capable of making football fans fall in love with Brazil again, if not for their football, for the fact that they leave everything they have on the pitch for 90 minutes. Not to mention, the wonderful sportsmanship shown by their players after the match, where David Luiz and Daniel Alves, among others, reminded the crowd to celebrate the displays of Colombia and James Rodriguez.

Going into the final stretch, the Selecao will need all of that character when they go up against Germany in the semi-final on Tuesday. Particularly because the team has been hit with the worst possible news, the loss of its leader and talisman, Neymar. He fractured a vertebra in a collision with Zuniga and will miss the rest of the competition. The striker has often been the inspiration the side has needed in moments of darkness during the tournament, he has been the player the nation believes in. Now they will need to overcome the last two hurdles without him, but if David Luiz and Thiago Silva continue to take the reins as they did against Colombia, they can certainly be the players to lead the country to a triumph that would put the ghosts of the 1950 Maracanazo to rest after 64 years.