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A different mindset: Brazilian duo “happy” to miss historic match for early national duty


Brazilian national football team players Neymar (R), Dante (C) and Daniel Alves take part in a training session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 31, 2013. Brazil will face England in a friendly match on June 2 at the Mario Filho “Maracana” stadium in Rio. AFP PHOTO / VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Soccer in Brazil has always been held to a higher standard.

Brazilian duo Dante and Luiz Gustavo have been barred by their home country from competing in Bayern Munich’s German Cup final tomorrow against Stuttgart due to preparations for the Confederation’s Cup.

This means they will be absent as the German club attempts to complete a historically dominant treble.

Bayern were furious at the decision by the Brazilian Football Federation, but must comply because a scheduling mistake means the DFB-Pokal final falls during FIFA’s designated international window where countries’ wishes take precedence.

Many across the soccer community, including Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, believed the decision not only angered the club but would have a negative impact on the players’ morale as well. “I find it inhuman, ruthless, unfair and unacceptable” said Rummenigge. “What that means for the Brazilians and their relationship to their national team, one can only imagine.”

He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Something that may be tough to grasp in the United States, or even across Europe - those players are more than welcoming of the situation.

“We are happy for us to fulfill a dream and play in a tournament for the Selecao. There is no grief over the missed DFB Cup final,” said Luiz Gustavo.

Dante echoed those sentiments, “We have made it clear that playing for the Selecao has a different value for us. It is a dream which we fight for from a young age.”

The players would prefer to prepare an extra few days for the Confederation’s Cup rather than play in a potentially historic match with their team to cap off one of the greatest achievements for a club in a number of years. But don’t blame them, blame the mindset.

That’s just how it is over there. The ultimate goal is to represent your country at the highest level. These players have the opportunity to do that, and they’re right on board with whatever the Brazilian Football Federation deems necessary.