Festival or fiasco?

published on 14 Jul 2014

Pelé, Garrincha, Ronaldo, Zico, Ronaldinho, Cafu, Sócrates, Jairzinho, Rivelino… 

These are great names – revered over the world for their brilliance and for the magnificent contributions they made to Brazilian football's magnificent heritage. And, by no means the only greats!

I am watching the World Cup final being played in Rio de Janeiro. It was supposed to be Brazil’s festival - a football carnival which would have enhanced their reputation as the world’s greatest footballing nation. Instead, their neighbours and great footballing rivals, Argentina, are playing for the title of World Champions, against the indomitable Germans. Brazil failed to turn up to their own party…

Incredibly, Brazil had won the Confederation Cup last year, easily beating the holders of the World Cup, Spain. This time last year, the nation looked forward to a sixth World Cup win, for the first time on home soil. It was not to be. The festival turned into a fiasco. They were not good enough – humiliated and exposed on their home soil, they conceded 10 goals in the last 2 games, scoring only once. Those great names from the past, those phenomenal teams from the past, those impressive victories from the past, couldn’t help them in the present, and so their future looks challenging, at best.

William, Catherine, Bramwell, Railton, Cadman, Booth-Tucker, Osborne, Coutts, Gowans…

These are great names – revered over the Army world for their leadership and for the marvellous contributions they made to the Army’s marvellous heritage. And, by no means the only greats!

We’ve just had a wonderful commissioning weekend this year and, doubtless, our summer schools will be great times of celebration. The whole Army looks forward to a great festival at the home of the Army. It should be a great celebration - 150 years of the Army’s mission and internationalism.

Let’s hope, pray and work to ensure that here is where the similarity with Brazil’s footballing fiasco ends!