Copacabana Beach is supposed to be fun, but it wasn't Saturday night, after the Netherlands beat Brazil 3-0 in the World Cup third-place game.
That loss came on the heels of the 7-1 drubbing by Germany earlier in the week. It's the first time since 1940 that Brazil has lost consecutive home games, prompting calls for change in a country long associated with soccer splendor.
Sunday's championship match pits Germany against Argentina in Rio de Janeiro. But for Brazilian fans, the tournament that began a month ago with so much hope for the host country has ended with a thud.
Coming off of a devastating loss to Germany, World Cup host Brazil's chances at redemption were dashed by the Netherlands on Saturday. The 3-0 victory secured a third-place finish for Oranje in the 2014 World Cup.
A penalty kick at just 3 minutes in from Robin Van Persie, granted after Brazil's Thiago Silva yanked down Arjen Robben, got the Netherlands off to an early lead.
Many of the biggest stars in global soccer — Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo — play the regular season with club teams in Spain. Their marquee names have helped their Spanish teams get filthy rich. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona top Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest sports franchises. You have to scroll down to No. 4 to find the New York Yankees, and NFL teams below that.
The World Cup is down to four teams: Argentina, Germany, Brazil and the Netherlands. We've seen how these nations perform on the soccer field. But how do they perform in the fields of health and development?
After a month of riveting soccer and global passion and, yes, some serious interest here in the U.S., the World Cup wraps up this weekend in Brazil. Tomorrow, the host country will try to gain a bit of redemption in a third-place match against the Netherlands. And Sunday, the main event - Germany plays Argentina in the final at hallowed Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. NPR's Tom Goldman will be there. And he joins me now for a preview of this weekend's matches. Hey, Tom.
The Miami experiment is over: LeBron James will play for the Cleveland Cavaliers next season. The NBA star opted out of his contract with the Heat after spending four seasons in Miami, where he won two championships.
James, 29, played for Cleveland for seven seasons before leaving the town, and his home state of Ohio, for Miami. Speculation about his next move heated up after James and the Heat were trounced in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs.