Germany beating Brazil en route to the 2014 FIFA World Cup final was not a shock. However, the margin of the defeat absolutely was.
In sport, there are many ways to lose important games. A team lose a match in close circumstances, having fought hard but coming up just short. They can lose convincingly, with the scoreline showing a dominance that doesn’t translate into a thrasing. And then there is, of course, a thrashing. A loss that is so big that one look at the scoreline leaves a person’s jaw wide open. Unluckily for the Brazil national football team, this is exactly what happened to them in the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final against Germany. So bad was that match that it was dubbed ‘The Mineirazo’, or the ‘Agony of Mineirao’.
With exactly 7 years having passed since that fateful meeting of Germany and Brazil, let us look back at a match that left the world of football in a state of shock.
The 2014 World Cup was hosted in Brazil – only the second time in history that the South American nation was granted that right. Incidentally, the first time they hosted it was 1950.
The 1950 World Cup is remembered for two reasons. One, it was the first World Cup held in 12 years due to the Second World War ravaging nations around the world. The second was the way Uruguay beat Brazil in the final match.
For the 1950 World Cup, the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro was built. The massive stadium was the venue of the last game of the tournament between Brazil and Uruguay.
Note, of course, that “last game” was written instead of “final”. That’s because there was no final – the tournament was played out in a league format. As such, Brazil needed only a draw to clinch the trophy.
Their fans expected a big win and when Brazil took the lead, everyone thought it was only a matter of time before the hosts were crowned champions. However Uruguay scored twice and ran away with the cup.
That defeat was dubbed ‘The Maracanaco’, or ‘The Agony of Maracana’. Why is this important? Because this was the first major heartbreak Brazil fans suffered in a World Cup.
Little did they know what lay in store for them in the FIFA World Cup final.
Both teams came into the semis undefeated, with neither having lost a group game en route to the knockouts. However, while Germany displayed a quiet assuredness in their displays, Brazil often looked reliant on the individual talents of Neymar.
To make things worse, he was unavailable for the semi-final due to injury. Yet perhaps more crucially, Brazil were missing another key member of the first XI – skipper Thiago Silva.
Silva was suspended for the match due to an accumulation of yellow cards. The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) tried to get his suspension overturned, but to no avail. As such, the defence lacked a true leader.
The game started with both teams attacking and looking to score the first goal. However, it was the Germans who drew first blood – and in the simplest manner possible.
Toni Kroos whipped in a corner and Thomas Muller shook off marker David Luiz to side-foot a simple effort past Julio Cesar. Brazil were 1-0 down with only 11 minutes on the clock.
They probed for an equaliser but it was the Germans who scored a second. Kroos and Muller combined to find Miroslav Klose, who converted on the rebound after Cesar saved his first shot.
The goal saw Klose surpass Brazilian legend Ronaldo as the all-time goalscorer in World Cups with 16 goals. But it also opened the floodgates of the Brazilian defence.
Kroos, not a player who can be judged by his attacking input of goals or assists, scored twice in the space of 69 seconds. Sami Khedira then interplayed with Mesut Ozil and found the back of the net.
Bang, bang, bang, bang… and Brazil were suddenly 5-0 down. They made it to half-time without conceding any more but the game looked done.
Germany, sadly, were not done. Andre Schurrle, who would go down in history as the man who assisted the World Cup winning goal in that year’s final, came off the bench on the hour mark.
He would go on to add two more goals in the space of 10 minutes. With 80 minutes gone, Germany led Brazil 7-0. Fans were stunned into silence, there were tears all around.
The Brazilian players wandered around, looking for all intents and purposes utterly lost. The game was over but it wasn’t even about defeat. This was humiliation.
Oscar scored a consolation goal in the 90th minute but it provided no relief. After the game most players broke down, realising the magnitude of this defeat.
The aftermath of the match was massive. Brazil fans felt disappointed, let down and ashamed of the team. Head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari resigned after the tournament ended.
Some of the players even got a hostile reception from the fans, most notably striker Fred, who was anonymous all game. He chose to retire from international football after this.
Media reports focused not only on the heavy nature of the loss, but the lack of proper tactics employed. Scolari went into attack mode but Brazil were overwhelmed by Germany’s ruthlessness.
All in all, a day to forget for Brazil fans.