In a World Cup full of unbelievable matches, (Holland vs Spain, Costa Rica vs Italy, Germany vs Portugal), yesterday’s 7-1 thrashing/spanking/sausaging/humiliation of Brazil by Germany has to rank as the most stunning of all.
This was both the best I have ever seen a team play in a World Cup, and the worst, and possibly in any football match.
To call Brazil’s play ‘Sunday League‘ is an insult to hard-working Sunday League teams across the world.
Germany were so (I hate to use the stereotype, but it’s true) ruthless that at 7-0 they still wanted more goals, and were furious at letting in a 90th minute goal which I struggle to even call a consolation. (I was particularly annoyed, as I had German keeper Neuer and two German defenders in my Fantasy Football team, so convinced was I that Brazil would struggle to score in this match. I also predicted the score, 7-1…at halt-time, at least!)
If you are reading this, you probably like football, and if you like football, you probably watched the game, so let me just give you some ridiculous statistics and facts rather than telling you things you already know, (like Brazil could barely control the ball, or pass to a team-mate, and Germany played the best football of any team of the tournament so far):
- Germany were 5-0 up by the 29th minute, and there were just 18 minutes between those five goals.
- Four of them came within six minutes, and there were just 179 seconds between the second and fourth goals.
- The fourth goal came more or less straight from the kickoff, Fernandinho losing the ball as quickly as Brazil lost the plot in the match.
- The first half drubbing was so bad that one BBC commentator wrote live: “Has a manager ever resigned at half-time of a World Cup semi-final?”
- To put this into perspective, the previous biggest semi final loss was 6-1.
- More telling is that Brazil’s previous biggest World Cup loss was 3-0, in the 1998 Final in France, a loss so shocking it prompted governmental inquiries. What will this thrashing produce?
- Germany scored more goals in 3 minutes than England did in the entire World Cup.
- Miroslav Klose scored the second to become the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer, with 16 goals in four tournaments…and he beat Ronaldo’s record on home turf to do it. Ouch.
- BUT team-mate Thomas Müller, (at 24, a dozen years younger than Klose, and therefore potentially available for another three tournaments), has ten goals, just six behind. I imagine the odds being pretty low on him stealing the record before too long.
- The seventh and final German goal was pure poetry on a pitch: a deft Müller flick from a throw-in, one-time control from André Schürrle, and a thunderbastard of a shot which clipped the underside of the bar and left goalkeeper Julio César even more shell-shocked than he had been for the past 90-minutes. Yet another contender for Goal of the Tournament. (I don’t know how many times I have written that this past month. In fact, I don’t even know if there IS a Goal of the Tournament !!)
- Maybe the craziest fact of all: Brazil hadn’t lost a competitive match at home in 38 years, and 64 matches, since a loss to Peru in 1975. Although some jokers are saying that the record still stands, since this wasn’t a ‘competitive‘ match!
One moment which summed up the game for me involved David Luiz, captain for the day and £40m summer signing for PSG, who is coming under a lot of fire for cracking under pressure and being everywhere on the pitch but where he should have been. Thomas Müller, (whining far too much for my liking throughout the game), put in a potentially nasty tackle on the fuzzy-haired one, who attempted a vicious kick his on German rival…
…and completely missed.
I wonder if there was a cooling off period in Paris’s transfer contract…
For me, the worst part of the demolition was Brazil’s reaction to such a beating. Did they respond by playing with flair, daring, and courage?
Every tackle in the area resulted in a yellow shirt thrashing around on the floor whilst simultaneously pleading with the referee for a spot kick. Marcelo, as he had already done at the end of the second group match, was the worst culprit on a night when Brazilian football shamed itself and may take a long, long time to recover. Maicon wasn’t far behind in disgracing himself.
The reaction at the Salvador Fanfest was fascinating: at the first goal, there was stunned silence. The second, annoyance. People barely had time to catch their breath (and some tears) before the next three goals went in, at which point the feeling was sheer disbelief.
There was time to boo Fred in the second half every time he appeared on the screen, but by the time goals six and seven were scored, the Brazilians were (ironically?) cheering the German team, and they got over the demolition the way you would expect: dancing and drinking for two hours to a live band: anyone watching would have had no idea that the thousands of people singing and shaking bits of themselves had just seen their national team humiliated.
(Although not as humiliated as a Malaysian MP, who thought it was appropriate to congratulate the German team with this tweet).
The good news for me is that tickets for the Final on Sunday now become a distinct possibility: I fly to Rio tomorrow to hunt for one, and imagine there are plenty of locals who never want to see a football match again for as long as they live. Who they will be playing will have a major effect on my chances: if it’s Holland, there should be an abundance as South Americans give up on their dream final: if, as I hope, Argentina win it may prove more difficult, but I hope Brazilians will be more likely to sell a ticket to a foreigner than their behated neighbours!
There is barely space to preview that other semi-final today, as The Netherlands and Argentina face off at 5pm in São Paulo. Argentina famously beat the Oranje in the 1978 Final on home turf, in a match which has forever been tainted by a whiff of corruption during the Argentine dictatorship.
Four years earlier, the Dutch had won 4-0 in one of the most perfect examples of their ‘Total Football,’ and in fact the 1978 victory was the only time the South Americans have beaten the Europeans in eight competitive matches.
From tomorrow blogs may be a little less regular, as I will be on the road, but I will try to cobble some fun stuff together in advance, and get on a computer whenever possible to keep you updated.