Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho was left heartbroken after the final whistle in Kazan on Friday evening, with Belgium ending the South Americans’ dream to lift the World Cup for the sixth time in their history.
The Red Devils defeated Coutinho and Neymar’s side 2-1, thanks to an unlucky own goal by Fernandinho and a thunderbolt in the bottom corner by Kevin De Bruyne. Renato Augusto’s late header, making the most of the Barcelona talent’s assist, gave Brazil a bit of hope to try to find a dramatic equaliser. However, it was not to be.
At the end of the match, Coutinho said he was expecting a lot of criticism following Brazil’s elimination. The 26-year-old told SporTV that the elimination was difficult to take, as the team was aiming at winning the whole tournament.
“It’s tough to take because this ends our dream of winning the cup. The way we lost today is difficult, really hard. However we did the best we could and gave everything we had.”
The Seleção were one of the favourites to reach the final on July 15th and to take the trophy back to Rio de Janeiro, 16 years after Ronaldo broke down the German defence at Korea 2002.
“I’m sure we will be beaten up by criticism from all sides,” Coutinho said. “Life goes on, that’s football. You win and you lose.
“We’re sad because we wanted to win badly, like all Brazil. Unfortunately, we couldn’t.”
Brazil’s defeat in the quarter-finals also likely ends the hopes of part of the team to have the chance to lift the famous trophy as nine players out of 23 are in their 30s and may not be part of the squad travelling to Qatar in 2022.
33-year-old defender Miranda is one of them. Friday evening’s match may have been his last appearance for the Seleção.
“It’s hard to talk about it because all players here are part of a generation,” the Inter defender said.
“I won’t say goodbye, but I also won’t confirm that I’ll be there for the next World Cup.”