The expectation of an entire nation seemed to be weighing heavy on the shoulders of Brazil’s players early on during their shocking 7-1 defeat to Germany on Tuesday.
As soon as Thomas Muller scored the opener after 11 minutes Brazil’s defense imploded and the pressure put on them from their own fans tore them apart.
[ VIDEO: Watch all seven goals for Germany ]
[ VIDEO: Klose breaks WC scoring record ]
The post-mortem into the worst defeat in Brazil’s proud history has begun and one man is taking the blame: manager Luis Felipe Scolari.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Scolari was asked how the catastrophic defeat came about. Here’s what he had to say.
“I will be remembered as the coach to lose 7-1 but I knew that risk when I took the job. The person who decided the line-up, the tactics, was me. It was my choice.”
“Who is invited to be the coach? I am. I am responsible. The catastrophic result can be shared as a group, my players will want that to happen. But who picked the tactics and the players? I did. The result and the performance is down to me. I am responsible.”
‘Big Phil’ will now need to stand up tall and take the intense criticism which is coming his way on the chin. The man has already won a World Cup with the Brazilian national team in 2002 and took them to the last four this time out with a far inferior team. When he took over in 2013, this country’s national team was in ruins. He at least restored some pride. Even if, right now, pride is the least prominent emotion that Brazilian fans and players are experiencing.
The squad Scolari had to whip into shape probably didn’t deserve to make the semifinals in any other tournament. The fact that they were playing on home soil and fed off the passion of the home fans dragged them through both of their narrow 2-1 wins in the last 16 clash against Chile and the quarterfinal vs. Colombia.
Scolari could never have foreseen his side defending so sluggishly in the opening 29 minutes and letting in five goals. With central defender and captain Thiago Silva out, Brazil’s defense resembled a poorly-manufactured sieve. Germany scored at will. Going forward Brazil were once again toothless and with their star man Neymar on the sidelines they had no hope at overturning what had already become an insurmountable German lead 29 minutes into the semifinal.
To take the blame off his players, Scolari will point the finger at himself. He doesn’t deserve that. Brazil’s players froze. Their 7-1 drubbing by Germany was down to basic errors being committed time and time again. There’s nothing Scolari can do about that.