Jesus’ epic World Cup failure in Brazil

Jesus’ epic World Cup failure in Brazil

Godless Germany beats devout Brazil 7-1

When the hosts of the 2014 World Cup take on Croatia in the opening match of the tournament on June 12th, God will also be on the pitch. And whoever opens the score sheet for Brazil, it’s likely that Jesus will get the credit.

That was the opening paragraph in a BBC report – Brazil: where God is on the pitch – which last month focused on the rapid growth of neo-Pentecostalism.

The country’s neo-Pentecostalists once denounced football ­– they called it “the Devil’s egg”. But now they see it as a huge marketing opportunity. As the most watched television event in the world, football presents unrivalled scope for evangelism.


According to Professor Carmen Rial, a social anthropologist at the Federal University at Santa Catarina, nearly all of the 60 Brazilian footballers she conducted interviews with were religious.

I was studying their experiences of migration, so I didn’t talk to them about religion. But I found it cropped up all the time. When I was driving with them in their cars they would be listening to gospel songs, when I visited them in their homes they’d be watching religious television channels, and when I talked to their wives I’d be told about family visits to temples.

Many of Brazil’s most famous footballers are neo-Pentecostalists, committed to spreading the evangelical message at home and abroad. Jorginho, part of the Brazilian team that won the 1994 World cup, founded his own church in Munich.

And AC Milan’s Kaka has said he would rather be a pastor than a coach when he retires.

Maybe, after Brazil’s humiliating defeat 7-1 defeat at the hands of Germany this week, they may start ditching their idiotic “I belong to Jesus” shirts and boost the growing numbers of atheists in Brazil. According to the 2010 census, eight percent of Brazil’s 200 million people now say they have no religion.

It should be pointed out that, in contrast, Germany is one of the least religious countries in the world. From Wiki:

Irreligion is prevalent in Germany. As of 2009, more Germans are non-believers in Eastern Germany than Western Germany.When taken overall, Germany is one of the least religious countries.

Eastern Germany is perhaps the least religious region in the world.Atheism is embraced by young and old, though even more so by younger Germans.One study in September 2012 was unable to find a single person under 28 who believed in a god.

See also Brazil battered by Germany: the best memes.

Hat tip: Antony Niall

23 responses to “Jesus’ epic World Cup failure in Brazil”

  1. Matt Westwood says:

    Okay right, is the world going to shut up about bloody football now? Oh bollocks we’ve still got the final to go yet.

    And on R3 it’s wall-to-wall let’s-glorify-WWI.

    Let me know when it’s Christmas.

  2. AgentCormac says:

    OT – but for the gays amongst us who might desire a church wedding (don’t get it myself, but it’s up to you), you might want to get in touch with this guy.

  3. Simple Hiker says:

    Most of the Brazil team was religious. What about Germany’s team? Religious or not? Is German coach religious? What does the most recent German census say about religion in Germany? It would be nice if your article was enhanced to compare/contrast both countries.

  4. cnocspeireag says:

    Thanks Matt Westwood. TF seemed to have avoided the dreary game so far. I’ve had to block some otherwise favorite blogs for the duration. I remember when those whose knuckles only touched the ground deliberately and had a life weren’t expected to pretend to like the game. Those who did were accepted with tolerant amusement, rather in the way of people who collected match boxes.

  5. Barry Duke says:

    Good point. I have addressed it by updating the post, pointing out that Germany is one of the least religious countries in the world.

  6. Trevor Blake says:

    “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

    But maybe Ecclesiastes 9:11 doesn’t exit. That, or God doesn’t exist. I’m pretty sure I have 2 or 3 bibles in my home right now. God, I’m less sure is here.

  7. Robster says:

    Another major fail from the benched Baby jesus. If this was a research project, you could safely conclude that not believing in the jesus/god stuff is more effective and influential than subscribing to the jesus nonsense. Those deluded believers, they get up early on Sunday for a bit of that silly worship carry-on, when lying in bed and ignoring it all would (as evidenced at the World Cup) be much more effective. There’s a lesson here.

  8. Paul Cook says:

    Of Eastern germany “One study in September 2012 was unable to find a single person under 28 who believed in a god.”

    Thank god for that!

  9. TrickyDicky says:

    I never watch football so when I heard the result I assumed it was a betting coup.

  10. Matt Westwood says:

    “Another major fail from the benched Baby jesus. … when lying in bed and ignoring it all would … be much more effective.”

    Would this be because non-religious have a whole extra day to spend in useful and edifying pursuits, and are therefore more likely to make a success of themselves?

  11. barriejohn says:

    I agree with Matt and others; some atheist blogs have degenerated into a discussion of World Cup football (or “footie” as some of them seem to think that they have to call it). What’s that all about then? The BBC seems obsessed with sport these days – they must have plenty of money to spare, so no need to increase the licence fee in future. I read this story about that guy called Neymar on the BBC News this morning. Apparently God has blessed him by allowing another player to break his back. Christian logic in full flood again!

    PS Is the other guy being prosecuted by the Brazilian police? Has he been banned from football for life? I would certainly hope so.

  12. Paul Cook says:


    No the other player escaped all forms of sanction. Even post match by fifa the governing body.

    But it’s Ok as he will go to hell. Unless he repents or accepts jesus into his life and love gawd etc then he can go to heaven.

  13. Paul Cook says:

    Actually the Jerries may have the logo “Gott Min Uns” on their underpants elastic.

  14. barriejohn says:

    Paul Cook: I am amazed, but perhaps no one saw it.

    There are a number of viral pics taking the piss out of the Brazilians, but the Angela Merkel one is my favourite!

  15. barriejohn says:

    Paul Cook: Star German player, warned several times for high kicking and use of elbow.

  16. Broga says:

    Looks like Jesus didn’t come off the bench. I suppose now the prayers have been tried and failed so spectacularly the prayerful will accept prayers don’t work as their is no God. Or will it be:

    “God works in a mysterious way”

    We have displeased God and he is punishing us

    There is a secret gay in the Brazil team. Yes, I think that is the explanation as 7 – 1 was condign punishment. Must have been the gay factor.

  17. andrewm031 says:

    Don’t imagine this Brazil great had a religious bone in his body;

  18. barriejohn says:

    Broga: They’re way ahead of you.

    After he was ruled out of the tournament, his actress girlfriend Bruna Marquezine wrote a message on Instagram, quoting from the Bible. John 13:7 “Jesus said to him: What I do thou knowest not now; but you will understand later.”

    I posted a link to that article the other day!

  19. Broga says:

    @andrewm031: Great quotes from the great Socrates. You could add up all the bullshit in all the “expert” football panels and all the crap columns and together it would not get close to even a fraction of the truth is these comments.

    Socrates, superbly gifted as a player, highly intelligent, corrosively honest and open about himself is talking about life when he talks about football. He says football isn’t everything which you would not think so as the bleating, weeping, shallow pontificating continues. He also gets it right about the beauty having gone from the game to be replaced by the mechanical, the fear and the mind numbing boredom.

    I agree with you. Socrates, a highly intelligent man, is not religious.

  20. Norman Paterson says:

    Trevor Blake – “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

    I love that quote. The language is exquisite and the sentiment thought provoking. Also, it is atheistic. Time and chance deal the cards, not a sky daddy. He would have been an interesting dinner guest.

    Re what the hell was god playing at – I notice that when God acts at all, He does one of two things. Either he rewards me and thereby justifies my behaviour, or he punishes other people (or sometimes he punishes indiscriminately) for their behaviour that I disapprove of. What you never see is me saying “I admit that I did wrong and as a result, God punished me. I will behave better in future.”

    No, my God only reinforces whatever I happen to believe.

  21. barriejohn says:

    Ecclesiastes is a wonderful book; Christians have to explain its sentiments by claiming that it sets forth the sort of arguments that “unenlightened” men would use. Proverbs contains some good stuff as well. Song of Solomon is beyond the pale!

    Wasn’t Socrates accused of corrupting the youth and introducing new deities? Maybe I’m a bit confused there.

  22. RussellW says:


    Whatever Socrates’ undoubted talents as a player, he wasn’t a team person and many of his team mates thought he was a complete pain in the arse.

  23. AgentCormac says:

    Sorry for going OT yet again, but I just stumbled across this article about former Irish MEP, John Brown who has admitted abusing a girl for 12 years, but claims ‘God had forgiven him’. There are two things I’d like to ask Mr Brown:

    1. How, exactly, do you know that your god has forgiven your evil?
    2.If true, what would you say that tells us about your god’s values?