It’s a very bleak day in Brazil, with the country’s World Cup hopes smashed by Germany. Django Merope Synge reports on the mop-up in Rio.
So that’s that, then. Germany beat Brazil this morning 7-1, and there’s no coming back from the magnitude of that defeat.
Even before the game the Brazilians had a bad feeling about it. Their talismanic poster boy, Neymar, was out suffering a spinal injury after a Colombian defender mistook his footy codes and tried to take a speccie over him. Thiago Silva, the Brazilian captain, was also out, for an utterly pointless yellow card blocking the Colombian keeper. The only serious attacking option the Brazilians had left, Frederico Chaves Guedes, was suffering a crisis of confidence after early errors were pounced on by the local press, a crisis surely not helped by a tabloid running a front page of him in a Superman costume with a blaring headline: “IT’S ALL ON YOU NOW!”
The sky opened over Copacabana just as kickoff happened, and grey clouds that had been threatening all day suddenly spewing forth thunder and rain. Every omen was bad. This wasn’t how it was meant to be when we bid for this thing …
The Brazilians went into this game hoping, just hoping, because they knew that a young, strong German team really had it over them. But no one knew by how much. Seven to one is ridiculous for a World Cup semi-final. It’s the ultimate humiliation, the loss that hurts more than any other losses.
So what now? Brazil is out, well out, of the World Cup final game. Not only did they lose, they lost in the most humiliating fashion imaginable. They lost hard, bumbling along against a much stronger opponent, with never any real hope of making it back.
Brazil was meant to win this Cup and hoist it high into the heavens so that every nation on earth could see the sun glinting down upon their golden trophy. They were meant to sing about this day, but it turns out this is the time of recrimination, not celebration.
Around Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian fans have taken the defeat surprisingly well. Without Neymar and Thiago Silva they knew it was going to be difficult to win. They’ve accepted the loss with grace, but 7-1 is not a simple loss. This is historic. On home turf, it’s going to be difficult to live down.
There are no fireworks going off in the favelas around Copacabana. The mood is subdued. Even the German fans here aren’t dancing and signing. The Germans who have been here for the Cup lived among the Brazilians, and they know the depth of their longing. They have been touched by the contagiousness of the Brazilian enthusiasm for winning this thing.
The most amazing thing about the composure of the German fans after this win is that they’re so goddamn understanding. They know the importance of what they’ve done, know they have shattered a dream. They aren’t dancing in the street. Sure, they’re smiling because they won, but they are smiling smiles that are tinged with sadness. Even the Germans were in some part of themselves hoping for Brazil in this game.
That hope is dead, but the genuine empathy that inspired it lives on.