Brazil’s stunned football stars struggled to explain one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history after they lost their semi-final 7-1 to Germany on Tuesday.
“We had the worst game of our lives and Germany the best of their lives,” said stand-in captain David Luiz who was at the centre of the defence that crumbled.
The Paris Saint-Germain defender was one of the main culprits as the Brazilian defence crumbled in the absence of regular captain Thiago Silva through suspension.
“I’m sorry for not being able to make the fans happy,” added a contrite Luiz. “We didn’t win it and I ask for the forgiveness of all the Brazilian people.”
After Thomas Mueller’s 11th minute opener, Germany sealed their passage to an eighth World Cup final with a stunning four-goal spree in six minutes just before the half hour mark.
Miroslav Klose became the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer with his side’s second of the evening. Sami Khedira and two apiece from Toni Kroos and Andre Scherrle made it 7-0 before Oscar’s late consolation.
It was misfiring striker Fred who received the brunt of the criticism for the shocked Brazilian fans at the Estadio Mineirao, though, as he was roundly booed before being replaced 21 minutes from time.
“It is a moment of great sadness and disappointment,” said Fred. “But we’ll have to hold on to the people who will help us in these difficult times we are going through now.”
Meanwhile, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari took responsibility for the thrashing of his star-studded side that took him to rock bottom in a career that has seen spectacular highs as well as controversy.
“I think it was the worst day of my life,” said the 65-year-old. “I will be remembered as the coach to lose 7-1.”
“Who is the one responsible? I am,” added Scolari. “This catastrophic result can be shared with the whole group because that is what my players say and want, but I am the one who chooses the tactics, the line up, so the person responsible for the result is me.”
World media reflect on Brazil trauma
Germany’s hammering of hosts Brazil provoked very different reactions from media round the world, with the Daily Mirror perhaps coming up with the best headline ‘Rout of this World’.
Understandably, the Brazilian media didn’t search for superlatives such as that as their ‘Selecao’ imploded before the eyes of their 200 million citizens in barely credible fashion in Belo Horizonte.
“An embarrassment for eternity,” read the headline in Correio Braziliense while others used terms such as ‘shame’ and ‘disgrace’.
Daily newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo has a spectacular front page with the stadium in darkness and just the scoreboard light up with the final result.
Its headline on its online edition reads simply, “MASSACRE!”
For the German media, there was disbelief and delight as reflected in tabloid Bild’s headline, “7-1 Madness. Lightning German team knock out Brazil.”
While Germany coach Joachim Loew has called for humility and to not get carried away ahead of Sunday’s final, some wilfully ignored him.
“Argentina, the Netherlands? Who cares! Germany is the favourite!” enthused Die Welt.
“The miracle of Belo Horizonte is already legendary,” added the Berlin-based journal.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2014.