The 2014 World Cup was awarded to Brazil many years ago. Even back then, Brazil dreamed of days like July 8, 2014 as a day of celebration throughout the country. It was supposed to be the day the Brazilians got one step away from hoisting their sixth championship in front of their home fans by winning in the semifinals -- but instead, Germany turned it into the most infamous day in Brazilian soccer history, if not all of soccer history.
By the time the 30th minute was over, Germany was up by five goals. Unmercifully, soccer rules dictated that they play another 60 minutes afterwards, including another full half. In the end, Brazil was knocked out by 7-1, although it still felt even more lopsided than that.
When Thomas Muller got his fifth goal of this tournament in the 11th minute, Brazil was put in unfamiliar territory. However, with so much time left and with Brazil's storied reputation, no one thought things would get more out of hand so quickly. But once Miroslav Klose scored his World Cup record 16th career goal in the 23rd minute, Germany opened the floodgates.
Before anyone could catch their breath, Toni Kroos made it a three-goal deficit in the 24th minute. Almost seconds after play resumed, Kroos added one more goal. It took just three minutes after that for Sami Khedira to cap the onslaught. At that point, the only measure of suspense left was on just how many shots ESPN could capture of crying Brazilian fans in the stands, and how many ways the commentators could mock Brazil's lack of defense.
While Germany became slight favorites before the match due to Neymar's injury and Thiago Silva's suspension, the assumption was that it would still need to sweat out a victory. Yet without Silva's defensive leadership and Neymar's offensive sparks, the Germans had an even easier time than they did against Portugal to start the World Cup.
Brazil was always supposed to end this World Cup, of all tournaments, by playing in its final match at Rio de Janeiro on July 13. Instead, it is doomed to the third place match on July 12, while arch-rival Argentina could play for the title against Germany.
But whatever happens in the third place match, it will not hang over Brazil and the soccer world for decades like the semifinal will.