The score? 7 x 1.
No, it is not a typo. You read it right – seven!
Opposing scores by such wide margin do not happen very often in soccer, much less in a World Cup. Prior to yesterday, the worst loss Brazil ever had was in 1920 (0-6, against Uruguay, in the South American championship, the precursor of Copa America). In a World Cup, it was 0-3 against France in 1998 and, at home, Brazil had not lost a competitive game since 1975.
“What happened?” is the question everyone is asking… me.
“I don’t know”, I keep saying.
Still, I think the issue is not ‘what happened’ – rather, the matter is ‘how it happened’.
It seems to be everyone’s consensus that it all happened really quickly, basically in 6 minutes, in between Germany’s 2nd (23’) and 5th goals (29’).
I believe Brazil’s demise began a long time ago – pretty much when the country was granted, seven years ago, the privilege of hosting this year’s competition.
Since then, the 2014 FIFA World Cup has been seen as the big break for the Brazilian soccer to achieve redemption for having lost, at home, the 1950 World Cup finals against Uruguay.
So, there was pride at stake – and lots of it.
There had been plenty of controversy in the host country prior to the beginning of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. However, in the largest nation in South America, soccer is king and, once the ball is rolling, the country basically comes to an absolute stop so everyone can follow the action.
Truth be told: perhaps because the passion and cheers of its 200 million fans, the Brazilian team was very lucky to reach the semi-finals. It narrowly escaped elimination when faced Chile and, after that, despite a victory against Colombia in the quarterfinals, Brazil was seriously upset, losing its biggest star Neymar (injured and out for the rest of the event) and its captain and defender Thiago Silva (penalized on yellow cards).
Against Germany (#GER), under these distressing circumstances, the pressure on the home team had never been higher. With the Europeans scoring (easily) early in the match (11’), the Brazilian defense revealed itself emotional, clumsy and disorganized.
Cool, calm and collected, Germany took advantage of it and, by 30 minutes in, Brazil was trailing by 5. Knowing that it was virtually impossible to recover from that, they still had one full hour of a living nightmare.
By the end of the game, the home team allowed in another 2, scoring just one consolation goal in the very last minute.
Brazil will play again, on Saturday, for third place – which basically counts for nothing.
But yesterday’s loss will linger for quite some time. It was embarrassing, humiliating, appalling. The lowest point in its history – and it happened at home.
What did Brazil lose? Soccer pride. At least, for another four years.
Which is, in my perspective, not necessarily a bad thing.
A lot can happen in four years.
And, being Brazilian, I know a lot needs to happen in my home country.
And, when I say that, I am not talking about soccer.