Despite their amazing semifinal performance, it is ironical that everyone is only talking about Brazil’s unprecedented defeat and not about how Germany did it. It was the fourth World Cup for the German veteran Miroslav Klose but there is only a passing reference for the legend, who also recorded the highest total number of goals; 16. Klose surpassed Brazil’s Ronaldo who scored 15 goals in three appearances, though the Brazilian also was part of the team in the 1994 USA World Cup but didn’t get to play a single match. Incidentally, Miroslav Klose was the lone survivor from either side after the 2002 World Cup final in which Brazil beat Germany in Yokohama. Now the 36-years old German veteran has a chance to consolidate his highest-goal record, when Germany faces either Argentina or The Netherlands in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. It will be a great moment for Klose, if Germany could end up as the fourth time World Cup winners in four days’ time, whether he scores again or not.
Germany were magnificent on the field on Tuesday, though some people have chosen to call them brutal. In the aftermath, however, no one is talking about the brilliant Thomas Muller, who has already scored 5 goals in this World Cup and braces by Andre Schurrle and Toni Kroos come for mention as if there was nothing too great about them. But the Germans are not concerned. They have done their job and they are already in the World Cup finals; their 8th entry in the final after 1954 (Switzerland), 1966 (England), 1974 (West Germany), 1982 (Spain), 1986 (Mexico), 1990 (Italy) and 2002 (Korea/Japan). With their emphatic victory yesterday, Germany has overtaken Brazil, who have reached the World Cup final 7 times. In an astonishing goal-riot yesterday, Germany also hammered 4 goals in a span of just 6 minutes, beginning with Klose scoring in the 23rd minute, Toni Kroos in 24th and 26th and Sami Khedira concluding the crushing stampeded in the 29th minute. While the Brazilians were beating their breasts, Germany also regretted that they couldn’t surpass their highest all-time victory margin of 8-0 against Saudi Arabia in the 2002 Japan/South Korea World Cup. Germany’s thumping 7-1 victory handed Brazil another shame as the hosts will now go in the record books, as an unlucky nation to have lost by the widest margin in a FIFA World Cup semifinal. Until now such ignominy belonged to USA, Yugoslavia and Austria, all of whom lost 6-1 in the World Cup semifinals between 1930 and 1954.
The mood in Brazil has turned sour after nearly one month of Samba celebrations. The national media has dubbed the horrible defeat as the Shame of Shames. Angry fans were seen burning their country’s yellow-colored shirts after the humiliating loss, as their dreams of World Cup glory lay in shambles. After the match, fans were seen fighting on the terraces inside the Mineirao Stadium and riots broke out at several places, as sadness turned into anger. One fan watching the match on TV was prevented from throwing away his widescreen TV out of the window of his house. In another incident in Rio de Janeiro, rumors of gunfire drove people towards the Copacabana beach.
The Brazilian government was sitting pretty for the last 25 days as the proceeding until now have gone as per their plans. The atmosphere of World Cup and its dramatic finishes and a contagious spirit of joy had overshadowed the pre-World Cup gloom of nation-wide protests. But the aftermath of yesterday’s crushing loss has brought back the talk and discussion about funding and needless expenditure on infrastructure and construction. If it was a hard-fought match, it would have been different but being throttled like a junior college team against mighty Germans has had a queasy effect on the national psyche. The political establishment in Brazil has already begun searching for ways to deal with the current mood in the country. President Dilma Rousseff tweeted after Brazil’s loss saying that like all Brazilians she was also very very said with Brazil’s defeat. But no one in Brazil has any inkling about celebrations in Germany and the fact that Angela Merkel has not stopped smiling.
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