• Thursday, October 23, 2014

Miracle, massacre and madness

Afp, Paris
Going 7-1 down to Germany, it was all about disbelief for Brazil fans. PHOTO: REUTERS
Going 7-1 down to Germany, it was all about disbelief for Brazil fans. PHOTO: REUTERS

Germany's record 7-1 hammering of hosts Brazil in the World Cup semi-finals provoked very different reactions from media round the world with the Daily Mirror perhaps coming up with the best headline "Rout of this World".
Understandably the Brazilian media didn't search for superlatives such as that as their 'Selecao' imploded before the eyes of their 200 million citizens in barely credible fashion in Belo Horizonte.
"An embarrassment for eternity," read the headline in Correio Braziliense while others used terms such as "shame" and "disgrace".
Daily newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo has a spectacular front page with the stadium in darkness and just the scoreboard light up with the final result.
Its headline on its online edition reads simply: "MASSACRE!"
The on line edition of daily Lance didn't mince its words.
"The greatest shame in history. A charismatic German side cold bloodedly dismantled a static Selecao 7-1 in a Estadio Mineirao that paid homage to the European side by the end with both applause and cries ringing out of 'Ole'.


Lance added that with this historic defeat the traumatic loss to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup, also hosted by Brazil, paled in comparison.
"The 'Maracanazo' has become a small matter, literally a thing of the past."
Another Brazilian newspaper Estadio de Minas gave a health warning to its readership.
The front page shows the scoreline and a simple warning, "Want to even recall what it was like? Turn the page..."
For the German media there was disbelief and delight as reflected in tabloid Bild's headline: "7-1 Madness. Lightning German team knock out Brazil."
While Germany coach Joachim Loew has called for humility and to not get carried away ahead of Sunday's final where they will face the winners of Wednesday's semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands some wilfully ignored him.
"Argentina, the Netherlands? Who cares! Germany is the favourite!" enthused Die Welt.
"The miracle of Belo Horizonte is already legendary," added the Berlin-based journal.
Spiegel hailed the champagne and feel good football played by the national side while adding: "records tumble, the dreams of the host nation dissolve in tears."
The normally staid newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung featured a photograph of Toni Kroos, who scored two of the goals, and Miroslav Klose, whose goal consecrated him as the all-time goalscorer in World Cup history with 16.
Indeed the Poland-born striker's first-half goal rubbed salt into the wounds of the hosts as it took him above their legend Ronaldo, who was in the stadium commentating.
"The seventh wonder of football!" ran the Zeitung's headline.
Pundits and sporting personalities alike were in shock with former Liverpool and Scotland central defender and BBC pundit Alan Hansen stunned at what he had seen.
"In 22 years as a pundit, and 40 years in the game, I have never seen anything like it," he said.
"We said before the match that David Luiz is the captain, supposed to be the leader, but he has abandoned ship I am afraid. He has disappeared."
There was no gloating from International Olympic Committee's German president Thomas Bach, who cheered the first two goals but then had his head in his hands as three four and five went in in the first-half.
While the 1976 Olympic fencing champion praised the Brazilian fans for not deserting the team at half-time he said that sport could be good to you one day and immensely cruel the next.
"As an athlete, I know how things go. There are days when nothing goes right, and when at the same time, the exact opposite is happening for your opponent. Brazil had a very bad night," said Bach, who is due to fly to Rio de Janeiro for the final.

Published: 12:00 am Thursday, July 10, 2014

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