Why Humiliation Versus Germany Will Haunt Brazil More Than 1950 Defeat

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Why Humiliation Versus Germany Will Haunt Brazil More Than 1950 Defeat
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

By the end, there were Brazilians in the crowd with smiles on their faces. The game long gone, the result well known.

Brazil's humiliation at the hands of Germany in Belo Horizonte will go down in football annals. The score of 7-1, the heaviest defeat suffered in the semi-final of a World Cup.

But in truth, this Brazil side never got going. Shorn of their captain and their craque, they were put out of their misery with such brutal efficiency as you are unlikely to see again.

Four goals in six minutes took the tie away from the hosts before half an hour had been played. Knockout ties between giants are not supposed to go like this.

This World Cup was supposed to be a tale of redemption for Brazil. Payback for the Maracanazo of 1950, when the hosts were undone by a 79th-minute Alcides Ghiggia goal, which saw the trophy go to Uruguay.

Defeats by the odd goal can be explained away by some of football's favourite cliches. Maybe you didn't get the rub of the green.

Perhaps a lapse in concentration cost a team dearly. It just wasn't your day.

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Brazil suffered their worst-ever World Cup defeat.

There is no way to offer a rational explanation of a 7-1 massacre. This was abject humiliation, pure and simple.

Miroslav Klose broke Ronaldo's World Cup goalscoring record to put Germany 2-0 with his 16th goal, but that was the least of Brazil's problems. What that goal instigated was quite possibly the most spectacular six minutes in the history of the tournament.

In 1950, the hosts at least showed what they were about. The Selecao put seven past Sweden and six past Spain in the second group stage.

In 2014, Brazil never looked convincing. Against the might of the German machine, Luiz Gustavo and Fernandinho found themselves completely overrun in midfield.

Bastian Schweinsteiger was at the heart of everything Germany did right. He did not get on the scoresheet, but that is about the only thing he failed to do on an electric evening.

Alongside Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira, the German middle sector steamrollered the bewildered Brazilian pair. There were individual errors, notably from Fernandinho for the fourth goal, but the difference in class was horribly apparent long before Germany began to play at a walking pace.

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Luiz Gustavo and Fernandinho were overrun in midfield.

With Paulinho and Ramires starting the game on the bench, Brazil's ploy was to take the game to their opponents. The hosts had the crowd on their side, but that was about it.

You cannot win a World Cup on desire alone. The selection of Bernard looked a bold decision to replace Neymar, with the squad player boasting the most similar characteristics; but Neymar he ain't.

Fred, meanwhile, stood in desolate isolation, a beleaguered spectator as his team was brushed aside. This tournament may have done enough to end his international career, after a wretched record of one goal in six games.

He became the target of fan ire during the second half. Each touch of the ball caused boos to ring round the Mineirao, and as the sixth goal went in, Luiz Felipe Scolari made the merciful decision to substitute his No. 9.

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Fred may have seen the end of his international career at the Mineirao.

The Fateful Final, as 1950 is dubbed, still carries with it today a sense of tragedy. Several pieces of literature have been published on those 90 minutes, offering various explanations for Brazil's failure on the day.

Alex Bellos, in his book Futebol, writes that Radio Globo commentator Luiz Mendes had to repeat the phrase “Gol do Uruguay” no less than nine times to convince himself of its truth.

There was no such necessity in the Mineirao this afternoon. This was just melancholy, and it is unlikely many books will be written on what must go down as the worst Brazilian performance in the history of the game.

For Scolari and his team, the inquest will start. The fans would rather just forget.

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