Sometimes, Brazil looks like the best soccer team in the world. Occasionally, well, they don’t.
After 13 minutes of the team’s World Cup quarterfinal against Belgium in Kazan on Friday, came a moment that showed none of the silky skill and technical brilliance we have come to expect from the five-time champion.
From a Belgium corner on the right, midfielder Fernandinho rose to head the ball away. It was the kind of maneuver he can perform in his sleep, except this time – in a tactical sense – he fell asleep.
Distracted by a teammate leaping in front of him, Fernandinho lost composure, missed his header altogether, and could only watch in horror as the ball spun off his arm, past goalkeeper Alisson and into the net.
Belgium would extend its lead on a rocket strike from Kevin De Bruyne in the 31st minute.