Brazil's players react on the ground after losing to Mexico as Mexico's Diego Reyes (2nd L), Carlos Salcido (3rd L) and Hiram Mier (4th L) walk by after the men's soccer final gold medal match at Wembley Stadium during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 11, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Nigel Roddis)
Brazil's loss at the Olympic final against Mexico is not only an unexpected result, but also a damaging blow to this Brazilian squad. For the third time in their history the Samba kings have come within one victory of their first ever Olympic Gold and for the second time in four years, they came away empty handed.
But today's loss was likely more damaging than the Selecao's losses in Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988. Here are the reasons why.
Highest Expectations Will Lead to Questions about the World Cup in 2014
Mexico fielded about a third of the squad that should be on their A team for the World Cup in two years. Also worthy of note is that they were lacking their top player n Giovanni Dos Santos due to injury.
Brazil? They were fielding that squad that many believe will makeup over 90 percent of the team that competes for the World Cup in their country in 2014. So this squad was expected not only beat Mexico, but to coast through them like they did throughout the rest of the tournament. With the loss, this team will not be the media darling in Brazil that most hoped they'd be.
Doubts will creep in the press about Mano Menezes ability to guide this team to championship. Is he the best coach for the job?
And what about the golden boy Neymar? He failed on the biggest stage. Is he destined to have the "choke artist" label attached to him? This collapse in the first 29 seconds of the match will be talked about for the next two years until the World Cup comes around.
And God forbid they don't win that one. Menezes will forever be reminded of this debacle and likely lose his job thereafter.
Had Brazil won this one, the press would be celebrating and hyping this team as World Cup contenders. With the loss in an underage tournament, the doubts will rise up and fester for the next two years.
Questions about Defense Will Now Take Center stage
There's that old cliché. No need to rehash it here because everyone knows it. But it was the one thing Brazil actually thought they could win a championship without. But alas, the veil they had casted over this fallacy was finally lifted when they finally faced a team that matched them offensively and had that one ingredient they lacked. Everyone said it all along: Brazil's defense is shaky.
They can't distribute the ball comfortably from the backend to the forwards. They rely on aggressive goalkeeping and talented forwards, but they have no defense against potent counterattacks and they clearly had no answer for an aggressive defense that was better than distributing the ball up the field.
And yet for five matches they fooled everyone into thinking that they could get away with it all on just offensive skill.
Enter Mexico. El Tri played well defensively for the entirety of the tournament heading into the final and upped the ante knowing that they were facing the best offense in the tournament. This match serves to prove that for their entire offensive prowess, Brazil is still not ready on the defensive to be a world class team.
They lack a cohesive back unit like Portugal that can absorb pressure affectively and they lack superstar defenders that are tremendous on both sides of the ball like Spain.
More importantly, this team has no clear future in net as number one man Julio Cesar was poor with his club team during the season and Gabriel proved that he is not the answer after a mediocre showing at the tournament. Had Brazil won, questions about defense may not be as stressed, but now they will dominate the collective consciousness as far as Brazilian soccer goes.