What's Buzzing:

Brazil's World Cup dream turns to nightmare

The Associated Press
Brazil's World Cup dream turns to nightmare
.

View gallery

SAO PAULO (AP) -- It wasn't just a bad dream.

Brazilians woke up Wednesday to dreadful headlines describing the shame and humiliation of their soccer team's historic 7-1 defeat to Germany in a World Cup semifinal.

One of the country's leading soccer publications, Placar, stated simply: ''A day to forget.''

''It was the most shameful performance of all time,'' said Almir Rogelio, 32, who was looking at the doomsday headlines at a newsstand in central Sao Paulo. ''I honestly woke up and didn't even want to remember what happened.''

During Tuesday's slaughter, Germany scored faster than fans could fathom. Within minutes of kickoff, tears smudged children's faces, turning little cheeks to streaky messes of yellow and green face paint, the nation's colors.

Dreams of a sixth championship shattered in the first half hour of the game when Germany was already leading by a numbing 5-0. Many fans in the Belo Horizonte stadium left by halftime when it became clear Brazil was being routed at home. Some tore up their tickets and gave the thumbs down to TV cameras.

In Sao Paulo, where thousands gathered to watch the match in the neighborhood of Vila Madalena, a man clung to a street pole and cried loudly, as another fan nearby banged his head against a bar table.

''It was a tragedy. Sad, very sad, the greatest defeat in all the history of the Brazilian national team,'' wrote Tostao, one of Brazil's forwards on its 1970 World Cup championship team and now a sports columnist for the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.

Most heartbreaking for many Brazilians was suffering the country's worst Cup defeat in its own backyard, as it hosted the tournament for the first time in 64 years.

''It was embarrassing. They have some nerve with the Brazilian people. We deserved so much better,'' said Manuel Alves, 58, as he stood on a main business avenue in Sao Paulo. ''The worst was all the money spent, having so many other problems that need to be fixed.''

Brazil spent more than $13 billion preparing for the tournament, and the high cost ignited angry protests against the World Cup during the past year. Demonstrators have complained about so much being spent while the nation suffers from woeful public services.

After the loss, many Brazilians returned to questioning whether holding the event was worth it, a bad omen for President Dilma Rousseff. She is campaigning for a re-election bid in October that many think could be made tougher by the soccer team's poor showing.

There were also reports of violence breaking out right after the game with many buses being torched in Sao Paulo - but it wasn't clear if the vandalism was linked to the Cup loss. At least one store selling electronics and household appliances was sacked, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

''Like many Brazilians, I'm very, very sad because of this defeat,'' Rousseff said as she took to Twitter to try to rally the nation. ''I feel bad for all of us - for fans and for our players. But let's not be broken. Brazil, 'get up, shake off the dust and come out on top.'''

Although few thought Brazil's humiliating loss would spark renewed mass protests, it is sure to put a severely sour taste back into the mouths of the nation's fans. Many say the loss to Germany was such a shock that it has actually closed the wound inflicted when Uruguay beat Brazil 2-1 in the 1950 World Cup championship match in Rio de Janeiro.

''We feel so lost, like a dog that falls out of a truck,'' said accountant Joao Bosco as he sipped beer at a Sao Paulo diner. ''We'll remember this humiliation. It will play in our minds over and over again, forever.''

---

Adriana Gomez Licon is on Twitter https://twitter.com/agomezlicon

View Comments (11)
  • Keane, Zardes lift Galaxy past Timbers

    Keane, Zardes lift Galaxy past Timbers

    With two goals in the first 11 minutes, the Galaxy stole a 2-1 victory in Portland. Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes each scored for Los Angeles to put an end to the Timbers' nine-game undefeated streak before a national TV audience. Zarek Valentin … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 1 minute ago
  • Sounders-Sporting Kansas City preview

    Two teams below the red line on the Western Conference table collide Sunday, when shorthanded Sporting KC hosts the Seattle Sounders at Children's Mercy Park. The Sounders have been mired with inconsistency this season and been unable build off a … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 hours ago
  • Lucescu wins first trophy as Zenit coach

    Lucescu wins first trophy as Zenit coach

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Mircea Lucescu won his first competition since taking over as coach when Zenit St Petersburg beat CSKA Moscow 1-0 to retain the Russian Super Cup on Saturday. Brazilian midfielder Jose Mauricio scored the only goal in the 22nd … More »

    Reuters - 6 hours ago
  • Funky or classic? Medal ceremony gets musical makeover

    Funky or classic? Medal ceremony gets musical makeover

    Olympic organisers will bring typical Brazilian informality to the medal ceremonies at Rio 2016 with three different kinds of podium music depending on whether the sports are considered classical, pop or cool, officials said. Winners in sports such … More »

    Reuters - 7 hours ago
  • New York City FC-Red Bulls preview

    New York City FC sits atop the Eastern Conference standings and owns the league's best road record. New York City (9-6-6) is in first place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points, five more than the Red Bulls. New York City is 6-3-1 on the road … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 hours ago