Brazil Mourns… Over 7-1 annihilation by Germany

Brazil

Brazilian fan cries as she watches her team during a live telecast of the semi-final World Cup game against Germany in Belo Horizonte

If you saw the game on television on Tuesday night, no, you did not imagine it. If you did not watch it but heard about it, the rumours are true.

Brazil really did concede five goals in the first half hour of its World Cup semifinal against Germany. It really did get dumped out of the tournament 7-1. The dream really did end in little more than a heartbeat because of a devastating burst of brilliant attacking and utterly inept defending to form the most extraordinary outcome of all.

The World Cup is magical, the sort of thing that everyone should sample at least once in their lifetime. But not like this. Unless you are a diehard Germany fan you were lucky not to be here at the Estadio Mineirao as perhaps the proudest soccer nation of all was humiliated and had its heart shredded.

Everywhere you looked there were tears. They rolled down the faces of small bespectacled boys and anguished old ladies and through the face paint of the hopeful masses who dreamed – no, expected – so, so much more.

Losing is one thing. Losing at home is another. Brazil could have, just about, handled either of those things. But this was another level of suffering. This was torture. This was being smashed out of sight in your home World Cup and being powerless to stop it.

The crowd, which before kickoff had given the most spine-tingling rendition of a national anthem that you could imagine, was first silenced, then outraged. The positive and patriotic songs and chants stopped, replaced by jeers and whistles.

An elderly man cradled a replica of the World Cup trophy in his arms, knowing it was gone, knowing he would have to give it up. Minutes later, he walked over to a surprised German supporter and gave it to him with a solemn nod.

A woman with yellow-and green-painted fingernails, a Brazil jersey, Brazil phone case, Brazil scarf and Brazil flag wailed as she spoke on the telephone at halftime.

A man stamped his feet and screamed. He picked up his Incredible Hulk mask, a tribute to Brazil winger Hulk, and threw it on the ground.

“My message is for the Brazilian people and to Brazilian fans. Please forgive us for this negative mistake,” said Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who took the blame for the embarrassing defeat. “I am sorry we weren’t able to get to the final. This is a catastrophic, terrible loss, the worst loss. We have to deal with that.”

This tournament is not done, of course, and Germany’s seven goals here will count for nothing in Sunday’s final, where it will have to produce something special all over again against either Argentina or the Netherlands.

But it is done for Brazil, even with a third-place game that no one ever much cares about still to come. They might as well call the game off. This country, of all places in the world, wants to forget about soccer for a while and focus on getting angry at a president it doesn’t like and social problems it is sick of.

The last and only previous time Brazil hosted the World Cup, in 1950, it created a scar that has lingered to this day. Losing to Uruguay in the final game is still considered a stain on its soccer history, a blot on the national identity. That result was 2-1 and goalkeeper Barbosa spoke in his old age of having served a life sentence of torment because of it, having been shunned and ridiculed to his dying day.

Goodness knows what they will make of this. Tragedy and disaster are words that should be reserved for real trauma, not those that take place on a field of sporting endeavour. – AP

 

 

 

 

 

 

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