Five goals to none in a World Cup semifinal, before even halftime, is nothing short of insane in modern soccer. And when the most victorious national team in the history of the sport is the one on the receiving end of this drubbing, it's big headlines. Which is exactly what’s happening in Brazil at the halftime of the 2014 World Cup semifinal against Germany, with the latter country ahead by a crushing 5-0. Brazil cannot possibly recover unless a miracle without precedent happens, and the Brazilian press is already resorting to hyperbole. “Germany scores fifth goal and massacres Brazil,” is the big headline on the website of Folha de Sao Paulo. O Globo, another major daily, splashes the headline “Brazil is a shame” and says the team has been “humiliated.”
The five-time World Cup winner will go home chastised beyond anybody’s imagination. But it is already home, in fact, playing in Brazil, which makes it even harder for a country that venerates soccer to accept such a lopsided trouncing on its own turf. Brazil’s team was supposed to exorcise this year the shame of 1950, when tiny neighbor Uruguay defeated Brazil in the final in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã stadium, a sad event that went down in soccer history as the Maracanazo -- and that makes Brazilians rueful to this day.
But that is nothing compared to the rout on Tuesday. A Brazilian team in a World Cup conceding five goals in one game -- let alone at halftime, let alone in a semifinal, at home, before the friendliest of crowds: That is the stuff of nightmares for the country that plays, by general consensus, the best soccer of all. There isn’t a nickname yet for the defeat on Tuesday, but it won’t be pretty. As Folha says on its homepage, “Never in the history of the Cup has the host country suffered a drubbing of these proportions.”
“It’s been one goal after another,” rued the site of Brazilian magazine Veja, in text published beside a picture of a fan in tears. That’s the kind of language Brazilian sports writers use when describing what their team does to others -- up to this Tuesday.
Before the game was even over, there was a Sad Brazilians tumblr.