Brazil woke up to a new footballing catastrophe today 64 years after it experienced the ‘Maracanazo’ when the hosts lost in the final of the first World Cup on their soil.
Back in 1950, the 2-1 defeat in the final by Uruguay at the Maracana was described as ‘the day Brazil cried’ and the term Maracanzo was coined to described what was viewed as a national disaster.
That memory however will vanish like magic spray in comparison with the 7-1 humiliation inflicted by Germany in this World Cup’s semi-final in Belo Horizonte.
It was the highest score in a World Cup semi-final, and Brazil’s biggest defeat after their 1920 6-0 loss to Uruguay.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted: “I think it’s probably the worst moment of my life. I’ve lost other matches. When you lose 4-0 or 5-0, it’s basically the same thing.
“Naturally, if I were to think of my life as a player, as a coach, as a teacher, this was the worst day of my life. But life goes on.
“I’ll be remembered probably because I lost 7-1, the worst defeat Brazil have ever had, but that was a risk I knew I was running when I accepted this position. Life goes on. That’s what I’ll do.”
Scolari admitted that the result was “catastrophic” for Brazil and said he took full responsibility.
“My players will tell you we will share our responsibilities. But who decided the tactics, I did. So the person responsible is me,” he said.
Scolari said that Brazil now had to concentrate on recovering from pride in the third-place play-off in Brasilia on Saturday, where they will face the losers of the Argentina v Holland semi-final.
He said: “The atmosphere in the changing room was terrible. Obviously. But what can you do? We’ll have to change things, our environment, when we go back to our base ahead of Saturday’s match.
“No one expected that result and now we must work on the mind-set. We have to improve our motivation for the match on Saturday. We have to do our jobs, knowing that history goes on.
“Most of these players will continue to play in their high-level teams and will be capped again. Life goes on. It doesn’t end with this defeat.”
Scolari also rejected the suggestion that Neymar’s serious injury, and the emotion created by his absence, had played a key part in the defeat.
“No, no, no. Let’s not try to find an excuse in Neymar or the emotions of the anthem,” he said.
“I don’t think it would have been different with Neymar. He’s a striker.
“Germany probably could have done that with Neymar in the side, also. He wouldn’t have known how to defend those moves for the second, third, fourth and fifth goals.”