By Fred Kaweesi in Sao Paulo
If Germany become the first European country to win the World Cup on South American soil this Sunday, when they play Argentina who beat the Netherlands Wednesday night in a penalty shoot-out, few will contest their historic and remarkable achievement.
Who humiliates Brazil – the ‘spiritual fathers’ of football in a 7-1 goal frenzy at their own backyard – and world football does not bow in respect?
If July 16, 1950 had been registered as the darkest date in Brazilian football, then June 7, 2014 was surely unscripted on Tuesday as the most horrific in the South American country’s sporting history.
“The catastrophic result will be shared with the whole group, but the choice, who decided the tactical line-up, the way to play? I did. The person responsible is me,” Brazil coach Felippe Scolari told the media here.
And in some way of public consolation, Scolari’s counterpart Joachim Loew said that: “We were shocked too and experienced the same thing in 2006,” Loew told the media, referring to the 2006 World Cup semi-final when Italy eliminated hosts Germany.
Following the aftermath, Brazilian newspapers were filled with stories of the historic defeat. PHOTO/AFP
David Luiz apologised to the Brazilian fans for the humiliating defeat. PHOTO/AFP
The hosts had marched into this fixture as favourites considering previous statistics between the two sides.
Although Brazil had lost star striker Neymar and team captain Thiago Silva to injury and suspension respectively, statistics had prior to this game shown that Brazil had over the years, somehow managed to ‘bully’ Germany.
However, at the Minerao Stadium, the Germans’ revenge was more brutal than that; a far purer form of sporting torture that left the host nation embarrassed.
Brazil were as bad as Germany were good, weakened by the absence of Silva and Neymar but weak-willed, too.
Although Luiz apologized in the aftermath of the game that: I just wanted to make my people happy. Unfortunately we couldn’t. I'm sorry, I'm sorry to all Brazilians, I just wanted to see them smile."
Brazilians were left asking that where was the defiance and determination that they had seen only a few days earlier against Croatia, Cameroon, Chile and Colombia.
This looked like a team of impostors to them.
Against a Germany side seemingly determined to add to their three World Cup titles, Brazil were pathetic –earning just a late consolation from Oscar after Germany had scored five goals in the first 18 minutes of the first-half.
Germany midfielder Sami Khedira was on the scoresheet in the 7-1 rout. PHOTO/AFP
Brazilian fans cried watching their team being shred to pieces by the ruthless Germans. PHOTO/AFP
Brazil’s defending was a shamble and Germany took full advantage with brilliant passing and movement to score through Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose, Toni Kroos (two), Sami Khedira and Andre Schurrle (two).
Inspired by Kroos – arguably the best midfielder of the tournament so far –the Germans were terrific.
Brazilian legend Ronaldo, who attended the match in the commentary box working for Brazilian television, must have chocked watching Klose surpass him as the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer with 16 goals.
Germany’s preparations for the final at the Maracana started just after the fourth goal, with Loew making his first change as early as at the start of the second half when Per Mertesacker replaced Mats Hummels.
The Germans showed a level of maturity way beyond their tender years. The two fullbacks Phillip Lahm and Benedikt Howedes were superb, while Bastian Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Khedira and Mehut Ozil were just as dominant in midfield.
Muller and the World Cup have something in common. The 2010 World Cup top scorer with four goals scored to become the tournament’s top scorer with five goals.
Compare that to the Brazil story, where the back-four of Maicon, Marcelo, Luiz and Dante were awful, Fernandinho a mess in midfield and Fred still horrible upfront like he had been since the start of the tournament.
Wherever Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning squad were, they must have been embarrassed if not in tears like the 200 million Brazilians across the country.
“We’ll celebrate and wait for the next game. The players all have their feet firmly on the ground and they won’t let this (win) go to their heads,” Loew added.
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