A (anais_vert) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

In defence of David Luiz

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Just a matter of hours ago Brazil were dumped and unceremoniously manhandled out of their own World Cup at the hands of Germany in a result so seismic an entire nation will be looking into their mirrors through tear-stained eyes and wondering vainly what went wrong.

The very core and fabric of the national game in the country is now under the spotlight with the kind of root and branch review already seemingly in motion that is usually reserved solely for our shores every four short years.

Yet with the emotion and pain still tangibly raw it seems one more than most is taking the blame.

To wade into social media last night was to witness one man being held up as the sole destroyer of a World Cup dream. One man responsible. One man accountable for the worst result in over half a century, very possibly the worst result in Seleção history.

That man was David Luiz.

Slammed from pillar to post it seemed it was the £50m man - as only he and Fernando Torres seem cursed to be labelled - who bore the brunt squarely on his shoulders.

But just why is that? Luiz seems to divide opinion like few others in the modern game. Lauded by many, laughed at by more, it seems he always has a target on his afro-laden head.

Sure he has a penchant for cartoonish malevolence and PlayStation-like defending. But is that worthy enough to gleefully revel in the rock-bottom low of a career?

Is a wry smile after manipulating a referee to send Rafael off in the dying embers of an ultimately meaningless game reason enough to actively enjoy a grown man’s tears?

Is an exorbitant petro-fuelled transfer fee he had no control over a fair stick to beat him with?

Many of the keyboard warriors who lolled over Luiz’s very public comeuppance on Tuesday night were the very same who were vining themselves silly over his stunning quarter-final-winning free-kick just four days ago.

Football is the most fickle of mistresses and chews you up and spits you out as routine in a matter of seconds or minutes. But to anoint a new king only to then dethrone him in mere days is a bit of a stretch even by the double-quick standards of this 140-character, opinion-a-minute world we now live in.

Now I’m not suggesting Luiz didn’t have a poor game, he undoubtedly did. At fault for one if not all of the goals and wayward and reckless throughout it will surely be filed as the most miserable chapter of his still relatively young career.

But by my count there were at least another 10 reasons out on the Estádio Mineirão pitch who should have their slice of blame apportioned to them. Of course, heavy is the head that wears the crown and in Neymar’s very visible absence, whether he wanted it or not, Luiz was entrusted with carrying that unenviable load.

But the Mineiraço shouldn’t haunt only one. That darkest of days shouldn’t be laid solely at a single door. Yes he should have tracked x, y and z. Yes he shouldn’t have continued to buccaneer forward at 6 and 7-0. But you cannot for a second suggest anyone out there did any more to arrest the unarrestable slide than he.

Luiz is almost the ultimate Marmite footballer. In a given 90 minutes, or snippet thereof, he can show you exactly why many love him and why many more do not. Maddeningly talented and equally maddeningly flawed.

But the fact is, as maddening as any of those flaws undoubtedly are, they didn’t single-handedly cause Brazil to tumble out of their home World Cup.

An entire nation was humbled in Belo Horizonte. No one man should bare that burden.

agree/disagree? (everyone will perhaps disagree but here's another excuse to talk about the wc and/or how much you hate David Luiz)


Tags: sports / athletes - soccer / football

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