Belfast Telegraph

World Cup: These Brazil players not fit to wear the yellow shirt

By Steven Beacom

Boys from Brazil, bow your heads in shame. You let your country, your absent team-mates and yourselves down in the most humiliating defeat in World Cup semi-final history.

It'll take a long, long time for the 200 million people in Brazil to come to terms with this. Maybe the players will never get over the horror of it all.

Hearts will be aching. Heads will be hurting. Spirits lower than they have ever been in a nation that has celebrated five World Cup triumphs and was sure that home advantage and destiny would see number six savoured in the iconic Maracana stadium in Rio on Sunday.

This tournament was going to be Brazil's greatest victory of all. Instead they suffered their most embarrassing defeat.

Dream shattered. The mums, dads, sons and daughters of Brazil are living a nightmare now following Germany's devastating destruction of their team.

The Germans were merciless as they disposed of the home team — it was 5-0 by half-time and had Germany not eased up after the break, it could have been many, many more than the staggering 7-1 scoreline.

Before kick-off Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari gave his German counterpart Joachim Low a present. The gifts continued from the hosts on the pitch. The gleeful, grateful German players must have thought all their birthdays and Christmases had come at once in one of the most astonishing football matches in the history of the game.

Brazil's defence, without suspended skipper Thiago Silva, fell apart. Led by Luiz, those wearing the famous yellow shirts played like headless chickens at the back.

Luiz, Marcelo, Maicon, Dante, Luiz Gustavo and Fernandinho were a mess. No shape, no structure, no organisation, no discipline, no brains. The forwards, Hulk, Fred, Oscar and Bernard, without the injured Neymar's inspiration, were just as bad.

When Thomas Muller opened the scoring, after Luiz gave him the freedom of Belo Horizonte inside the area, just over 10 minutes had passed, yet Brazil's frantic, gung-ho approach, leaving gaps galore at the back, suggested the match had just entered injury time. Kamikaze.

Germany revelled in the space with Miroslav Klose netting his record breaking 16th World Cup goal, Toni Kroos grabbing himself a brace and Sami Khedira getting in on an amazing act that lasted from minute 23 to 29.

Brilliant from ruthless Germany. Brutal from clueless Brazil. Substitute Andre Schurrle fired in another couple in the second half to add to the agony with Oscar's late goal meaningless.

For Germany the final. For the finest football nation of them all there is nothing but misery, sorrow, recriminations and regret. Never a good place to be.

Today be glad we're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph


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