Brazil celebrated, much to Keane’s dismay, after scoring four goals in the first half.
Roy Keane was one of the few persons in Qatar who did not seem to agree with Brazil’s enjoyment of their own football carnival. The South Americans didn’t simply gallop to a 4-0 halftime lead; they danced there, both metaphorically and literally.
Goals from Vinicius Jr., Neymar, Richarlison, and Lucas Paqueta set a standard that will make England, France, Argentina, and other potential quarterfinalists concerned.
Neymar of Brazil celebrates with Raphinha, Lucas Paqueta, and Vinicius Junior after scoring the team’s second penalty goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Brazil and South Korea.
It was top-tier Brazil; 1970s Brazil, but with faster athletes doing slicker things on a better pitch. It was Brazil, as in “viewing Brazil is like watching a movie.” They were well aware that this was the criterion by which football would be judged.
That would have been difficult not to admire it, unless you were a South Korean witnessing your Qatar 2022 dreams fade before your eyes. Tite’s team glided through and shimmied balls into the net with such ease and freedom.
After each strike, their unbridled but inevitable delight was palpable.
They started with a dance celebration, then danced to mark the goal; Richarlison scored, and everyone – including Tite – danced, and Paqueta joined in, then danced some more. Brazil persevered despite the exchange of Strictly Come Dancing jokes.
It was a theatrical display of football ideology, but it did not appeal to everyone. At halftime, Keane, speaking in the ITV studio, greeted the samba sets precisely how you’d expect. “I honestly can’t believe what I’m seeing,” he said. “Brazil is fantastic, the game is off to a fantastic start, and South Korea is all over the place.”
“I’ve never seen so much dancing in my life – it’s like watching Strictly!” I simply cannot believe what I am witnessing. I can’t believe what I’m seeing in South Korea.”
Keane vented his displeasure behind the scenes as the pundits went deeper into their analyses.
“This bothers me,” he continued. “I understand the concept of culture, but I believe it is insulting to the opponents.”
“It’s four, and they’re still doing it.” I don’t mind the first jig, whatever it is, but they keep doing it after that, and the manager [Tite] gets involved. I’m not happy with it; I don’t think it’s very nice.”
Ally McCoist couldn’t have been more pleased with the preparations, stating on commentary following Vinicius Jr’s opener: “They’ve been hard at work on it!” They must have been convinced they would win this evening.”
Brazil has advanced to the quarterfinals, where they will meet Croatia, the 2018 runners-up. Luka Modric and his teammates will aim to put an end to Neymar’s party.