We all know that Brazil had their hearts broken in the semi-final against Germany.
Well, more like they had their hearts swiftly removed, stomped on, kicked around and fired into the net seven times.
It could even have been worse, with German defender Matt Hummels admitting in an interview that they decided at half-time to take it easy on the hosts after racing to a 5-0 lead.
How bad was the match? It was so shocking to the world that it became the most discussed sports match ever on Twitter, with 35.6 million tweets, and local newspaper Globo gave all of the Brazilian players, and the coach, 0/10 in their match ratings.
This was the second time Brazilian football had found itself ripped to shreds, the first being the infamous loss to neighbours Uruguay in 1950. As the Guardian said of the Germany semi-final:
The Mineiraço, as it is already being called in an echo of the deep impact of the 1950 Maracanazo when Uruguay defeated Brazil in the final the last time the tournament was held here, was variously described as “the disgrace of all disgraces” and “a historic humiliation”. The sports paper Lance called it “the biggest shame in history”.
What most people don’t know, but I learned from Alex Bellos’s book: ‘Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life,’ is that the match in 1950 wasn’t actually the World Cup Final. The tournament in those days ended in a group phase, and it just so happened that Uruguay and Brazil were the only two teams left with a chance to top the group, and were playing each-other in the last game. That’s why even a draw would have handed the cup to Brazil, as they had won both of their games, (against Sweden and Spain), whereas Uruguay had only drawn with Spain.
The lasting impression that match left on the Brazilian footballing mentality, (until being supplanted on 8th July 2014), has been beautifully explained in cartoon format in this incredible New York Times feature.
Enjoy! And don’t forget to sign up for details of ‘Benfica to Brazil – the book’!