Man, poor Dante.
Not only did the big Brazilian defender play a huge part in his country’s infamous 7-1 defeat to Germany at last summer’s World Cup, but shortly after being embarrassed and knocked out of the tournament in his home country, Dante had to return to — of all the places in this gigantic world — Germany, for preseason with Bayern Munich.
Surely the sympathetic, merciful Germans would take pity on his broken soul and either console him through this tragic heartbreak, or at the very least, have the sympathy to not rub salt in the still-gaping wound and remind Dante of the worst day of his professional life.
Yeah, about those “sympathetic, merciful Germans” — they’re actually known to be anything but.
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So surely his club teammates, many of which were members of that World Cup-winning Germany team and the ones closest to Dante for 10 months out of every year, would understand his pain and shift their focus to the road ahead of them this season, rather than constantly gloating about their past endeavors. They’re professionals, after all, and they’ve got a job to do, together.
Thankfully for Dante, every Bayern Munich player seems to have taken this gracious viewpoint. Everyone but Thomas Muller, that is. Apparently Muller is known as a bit of a jokester amongst his teammates, so the following isn’t exactly surprising, but it’s still really sad.
According to Dante, who spoke this week to Globoesporte, Muller’s jokes — Dante calls them taunts — were quite harsh and apparently never ending, despite his repeated pleas.
“The Germans joked about it, especially just after the game, up to the moment when I said it was time to stop. The 7-1 was something more serious than people realized.
“We can joke about anything, but not about this. Not all the Germans were like this but Thomas is the big joker. I said to him: ‘If you don’t stop, I’m going to hit you in every training session.’
“This doesn’t make me laugh and when someone doesn’t laugh, it means they are annoyed.”
This is truly saddening. Dante went on to say that he also feels shame from regular German citizens in public, that they now look down upon him.
“I felt that people have sort of pushed me to one side since then, in restaurants, in the street. I only think when you are sad and have endured this sort of upset, you need some affection from people who are close to you, to help recover your self-esteem.”
1) Thomas Muller, despite the fact he scored 10 World Cup goals by the age of 24, is a big, fat jerk.
2) Pep Guardiola should have shoved Muller harder.
3) I’ll be your friend, Dante.
h/t The Soccer Gods for Portuguese-to-English translation of quotes