By Mick Krever, CNN
It was a stunning loss for a country that views soccer as a religion.
If Brazil has been shell-shocked since its 7-1 rout by Germany in the semifinals of the World Cup, the President who staked so much on the Cup, Dilma Rousseff, pledged in an exclusive interview with Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday that the loss will not shake the national psyche.
“There is one hallmark and feature about football,” she told Amanpour at the presidential palace in Brasilia. “It is made of victories and defeats. That’s part and parcel of the game.”
“And being able to overcome defeat I think is the feature and hallmark of a major national team and of a great country.”
Brazil, like so many other middle-income countries around the world, has been engaged in the great project of modernization, and lifting millions out of poverty.
Rousseff has had a long education in Brazilian politics – first as a left-wing guerrilla battling Brazil’s military dictatorship, then as right-hand woman to the heavyweight of Brazilian politics, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Despite the country’s deep-seated passion for soccer, its move to host the World Cup was controversial. Brazilians across the country turned out in the streets to protest the vast sums the government spent on stadiums and how they were built.
Rousseff was booed and jeered as she watched the opening match pitting the host nation against Croatia.
Now as she gears up for re-election in October, can President Rousseff push forward with Brazil’s grand transformation?
By Mick Krever, CNN
Amanpour's full interview with President Rousseff airs Thursday at 2pm ET, 3pm Sao Paolo, 8pm CET on CNN International.
(CNN) - Never in her worst nightmares did Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff imagine such a crushing soccer defeat, she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
"My nightmares never got so bad, Christiane," she said through an interpreter. "They never went that far. As a supporter, of course, I am deeply sorry because I share the same sorrow of all supporters. But I also know that we are a country that has one very peculiar feature. We rise to the challenge in the face of adversity. We are able to overcome."
Brazil, she said, will recover from this "extremely painful situation."
"Being able to overcome defeat I think is the feature and hallmark of a major national team and of a great country."
By Henry Hullah
With the Cup comes the controversy. At least that seems to be the case with Brazil, as the FIFA World Cup is set to kick off this week.
Brazil, a country where football is not just on the pitch but in the blood, has been suffering riots and criticism from FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, who at one point claimed the preparations were the worst he's ever seen.
The Brazilian Ambassador to the UK Roberto Jaguaribe told Amanpour the preparations are not that bad.
"I believe they are Brazilian. Of course, it is important not to lose sight of the specificities of the country where you are going."
"We are deploying 150,000 officers of the police and the armed forces to guarantee the safety of the games."
By Samuel Burke, CNN
Brazil is in the throes of massive protests, but its foreign minister does not think that his country will see the type of violence and confrontation that Turkey has seen in the past weeks.
“I think it’s a different situation; the manifestations have been peaceful, predominately,” Antonio Patriota told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday in an exclusive interview.
But federal riot police have been sent to five major cities.
“There may be episodes of violence here and there and, of course, the security forces have to be prepared because there are large numbers of people involved,” Patriota told Amanpour. “And our expectation is that they will continue to manifest in a peaceful way.” FULL POST