Brazil: Battered, bruised and out of the Cup

You wouldn’t want to a player of the Brazilian national team right now.

You wouldn’t want to a player of the Brazilian national team right now. The impact of their 7-1 defeat to the hands of a ruthless German side will affect that squad for not just the rest of their careers, but for the rest of their lives.

This may sound melodramatic but you must remember that Brazil is the ultimate footballing nation, a country where the beautiful game is considered to be a religion and the stadiums which it is played in are where fans go to unite, congregate and celebrate the sport that defines many of them.

A sight that this World Cup has given us is that of fans from every background kicking a ball around and mimicking their country’s heroes in any space that is available to them; whether it is a favela or Copacabana beach. 

Ever since the Confederations Cup last year, Brazil has been on autopilot with excitement whilst waiting for the world’s biggest sporting event to arrive on their doorstep with their national team ready to lead the way and show the world what they could do but an unprecedented amount of pressure fell into the hands of a young team whose biggest flaw is their sudden inability to play like a team.

The opposite of subdued

The match against Germany was always going to be a subdued affair. The poster-boy of this World Cup, Neymar, wasn’t there to guide them to victory with his outstanding flair and skills after picking up a serious injury in their quarter-final match against Colombia. His absence was noted with players and fans remembering him as though he had passed away and that this semi-final was a chance for them to thank him for getting them this far.

But it turned out to be the exact opposite. You would think that the energy and passion that surrounded them in Belo Horizonte would be enough to give them a lift and drive a bit of light into a team that has been clouded in darkness since their win over Colombia but it didn’t. It’s turned out to be the death of hopes for a nation that is continuously inspired by its national team.

Germany scored five goals inside 29 minutes, 4 of them in 179 seconds of a sheer horror show from Brazil who looked absent and defeated without trying, they were playing like a team who had already been knocked out.

Thomas Muller starting off proceedings with additions from Klose, Kroos and Khedira all following in quick succession. By this point, the fans knew that it was the end. They didn’t need a second half of this match to know what was coming.

It is difficult to decide what is more humiliating for Brazil; the fact that they have suffered their biggest defeat in World Cup history or the fact that their supporters were cheering on their opposition’s final two goals more than their own consolation from Oscar as they showed their appreciation for something that there team has rarely given them during this World Cup campaign—decent football. Whichever one it is, it’s going to stay with them for many years to come.

Funeral of a team

It was only a matter of time before riding their luck and relying on a couple of key players would be the wrong tactic for the host nation but for it to happen in this manner has sent shockwaves through the footballing world.

Although a win for Germany was expected for many, the manner in which they did it took us all by surprise. It was brutal, it was ruthless and at times it felt unbearable to watch as television screens focused on younger viewers who looked like their world was crumbling in front of them. Take nothing away from Germany, they were exceptional and their players deserve their place in the final but it will take a while for them to digest what happened in this momentous match.

Where to Brazil go from here? Well the World Cup is not over for them just yet as they have to try and rebuild some composure and dignity before facing the losing side of Argentina v Netherlands (which takes place later today) in a third place play-off on Saturday.

Whoever it is, it will be a humbling affair and will act as the funeral of a World Cup that was a speeding train ready to derail for the hosting team but where they go after that is anyone’s guess. What we do know is that this will be the catalyst of a very-public inquest to decide who or what is to blame for it all going so horribly wrong.

What do you think of Brazil’s loss? Have your say in the comments section below.