20 June, 2021

A Hurrah For No Complexo

‘The Rio Games is a grand success’, trumpet a few. A divided country begs to differ.

Golden Boot
Neymar scores off the last penalty kick; Brazil score Gold
Photograph by AP
A Hurrah For No Complexo

Neymar Jr is no Mario Zagallo. Not yet. But after scoring the winning penalty against Germany in the match for the football gold, Neymar sounded as bruisingly redemptive as Zaga­llo, the legend invo­lved in Brazil’s four World Cup triumphs. “Now they will have to swallow me,” said the Number 10, after a bout of hearty sobbing on the Maracana pitch. This was Neymar’s shot at silencing his—and the Brazilian team’s—critics as he wore gold around his neck. A day later, the president of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, Carlos Nuzman, too, echoed Zagallo when he asked his critics to “swallow the success” of the event. “It was a tremendous and extraordinary success. The world bowed to Rio,” Nuzman told a group of journalists on August 22, a day after the Games officially closed at the Maracana.

Even before thousands of athletes, officials, journalists and tourists left, the Brazilian establishment is busy patting its own back for its ‘success’ in organising the first-ever Olympics in South...

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