Where were you when Brazil conceded seven?: Germany booked its spot in Sunday’s World Cup final following one of the greatest team performances ever at the tournament. 7-1. Seven. One. Over the Selecao. In Brazil! This one will go down in history as a landmark contest, a true “where were you” moment—think Hungary’s 6-3 win over England at Wembley in 1953.
Brazil, viewed as the spiritual caretakers of the beautiful game, “out-Braziled” by Germany, a nation falsely tabbed as boring and conservative. There was nothing subtle about the Germans on this night. They held nothing back, putting on an attacking master-class. Even at 7-0, Germany pressed forward, ruthlessly looking for more, professional to the very end. When Oscar scored in the 90th minute to break the shutout, the look of disgust on German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s face said it all.
Brazil certainly missed Neymar, but the absence of star centre back and captain Tiago Silva (suspended) proved to be the bigger factor in sealing the host’s horrible fate. Dante was drafted into the starting 11 to partner David Luiz in the centre of defence, and the back line looked shell shocked—amateurish at times in its marking—and unable to handle the Germans’ swarming attack. Yes, Germany was magnificent on the night, and fully deserving of this historic win. We should never forget that. But Brazil was pathetic, its feeble back line and a lack of defensive cover in midfield paving the way for a German onslaught that led to four goals in six minutes and essentially killed off the game before the 30-minute mark. What must Argentina and the Netherlands be thinking?
Brazil’s fixation with losers: Brazil’s contribution to the world of sports is pretty significant, highlighted by several success stories and athletes who were among the best in their respective fields.
The Selecao—led by many of the game’s all-time greats, most notably Pele—have won five World Cup trophies, more than any other nation. Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna each won three Formula One world championships. Anderson Silva is regarded as the best fighter in the history of mixed martial arts. Maria Bueno won seven Grand Slams, including three Wimbledon titles.
And yet for a nation so predisposed to festivities, Brazil seems to dwell far more on its sporting failures than its successes.
Outside of Brazil, the 1970 World Cup winning side is generally regarded as the greatest in the history of the sport. Yet, Brazilians still obsess about the 1982 squad, famously undone by Paolo Rossi’s hat trick in the quarterfinals, and consider that Brazil team the greatest it has ever produced. The 1982 team is beloved, while the 1994 and 2002 sides are overlooked—they both won the World Cup, but were lambasted for being too pragmatic, too European.
To this day, Brazilians bitterly recall the loss to Uruguay in the 1950 “final” on home soil, and blame one man: goalkeeper Moacir Barbosa. Uruguay’s Alcides Ghiggia caught Barbosa out of position on the winning goal, as he was expecting a cross into the middle of the pitch—not a shot on net. That loss plunged the country into a state of mourning, and the term Maracanazo, or “the Maracana blow” famously entered the Brazilian lexicon. Barbosa quickly became the scapegoat and was ostracised for the remainder of his life before passing away in 2000. “The maximum punishment in Brazil is 30 years imprisonment, but I have been paying, for something I am not even responsible for, by now, for 50 years,” he said shortly before his death.
So, how will Brazilians remember their 2014 World Cup team? Before Tuesday, this was a Brazil that only its staunchest supporters could love after it sleepwalked its way through to the final four. Not only will this incarnation of the Selecao not be fondly remembered, but they’ll be hounded for the rest of their lives, much like Barbosa. Brazilians will never forget this. Never.
Close to $14 billion of public money spent on hosting the World Cup, and for what? For this? No payoff in the end? To see their sporting heroes undone in such spectacular fashion at Belo Horizonte’s Estadio Mineirao?
To lose like this, to have their noses rubbed in the dirt, to be so utterly humiliated, to be completely embarrassed—the shame of this defeat isn’t going to wash away any time soon. If you thought Brazil’s obsession with Maracanazo was bad, you ain’t see nothing yet. Mineirazo will be worse. Far worse.
2014 FIFA World Cup: Sportsnet.ca is your home for in-depth coverage of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. TV viewers can watch all 64 games on CBC and Sportsnet from June 12 to July 13. Be sure to watch Connected every night on Sportsnet for all of the latest news and analysis. And check out Sportsnet magazine’s team profiles of all 32 nations.
Stat of the day
16 – Miroslav Klose has now scored more World Cup goals than any other player. Historic.
Plenty to choose from, but we’ll go with Toni Kroos’ goal in the 25th minute to give the Germans a 3-0 lead. Mesut Ozil fed a pass to Philipp Lahm who delivered a cross into the box from the right. Thomas Muller whiffed at it, but the ball fell kindly to Kross who hit a sweet one-timer past a helpless Julio Cesar in the Brazilian goal.
Save of the day
With Brazil down 5-0, Julio Cesar came up big in the 61st minute when he dove to tip a Thomas Muller effort from distance over the crossbar.
Best moment of the day
Brazilian fans inside the stadium gave Miroslav Klose a standing ovation when he was subbed out in the second half, recognizing his efforts in breaking Ronaldo’s all-time tournament scoring record.
He said it
“We wanted to make the people happy but we couldn’t do it. Sorry to all Brazilians. – David Luiz
1) Toni Kroos: A performance of the ages for the Bayern Munich star who bagged a brace within two minutes, completed 65 passes and tore Brazil apart with his movement. 2) Philipp Lahm: The German fullback was his usual brilliant self, completing 47 passes, making four tackles and wining the ball back six times. Outstanding in both ends of the pitch. 3) Miroslav Klose: A historic day for the Lazio striker, who scored in the first half to surpass Ronaldo as the World Cup’s all-time scorer with 16 goals to surpass Ronaldo.