Scolari: ‘I think it was the worst day of my life’
Brazil coach takes full responsibility for humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari gestures on the sideline during the World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA
Brazil’s goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts after losing their 2014 World Cup semi-final 7-1 against Germany at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari described the 7-1 destruction at the hands of Germany as “the worst night of my life,” but insisted that Brazilian football does not need to make sweeping changes in the wake of the country’s worst ever World Cup defeat.
Scolari spoke to the media for 20 minutes following the seven-goal slaughter, which had some Brazilian fans heading for the exits after just half an hour, and others applauding the Germans in a pointed message to their own defeated players.
The crowd directed abusive chants at president Dilma Rousseff and then changed the words to taunt striker Fred, who was substituted after the sixth goal. When the Brazil players tried to acknowledge their fans at the end, they were met by a furious wall of derision. There would be no mercy from the stands after such a shameful result.
“I’ve lost other matches, but if I think back over my life as a football player, a coach, as a physical education teacher . . . I think it was the worst day of my life,” Scolari said.
Brazil’s manager, who will now lead the team into the third-place play-off on Saturday, accepted the blame for the defeat.
“Who is responsible when the team plays? Who is responsible for picking the team? I am. It’s me. So the catastrophic result can be shared with the whole group. But who made the choices about the the tactical line-up, the way to play? I did. So the person responsible is me.”
Scolari suggested there hadn’t been much in the game, considering the 7-1 scoreline.
“I think up to the first goal, we were basically identical or much better than the German team. The German team scored their first goal in the corner and in four minutes scores another four goals. There was lack of control. It’s not normal but it happens.
“We lost a match, one match, to a great team, the German team. When we finished the game and we spoke to them, the chat we had on the field, they said: ‘We don’t know what happened. Five balls, five goals’. That’s because of their skills.”
Scolari counselled against making big changes to the Brazil team.
“Why, because we lost one match today? The team that’s out there, 13 or 14 of those players will be in the 2018 World Cup. Look at the German team. They played the 2010 World Cup, they had played Euro 2008. I think 14 or 15 of them will be there in 2018. This is catastrophic, the worst loss of a Brazilian national team, but we have to learn how to deal with that also.”
But watching the crowd react against the Brazil team at the Mineirao, rejecting their efforts to share applause, you wondered how many of these players can recover from being part of such a shambles.