SAO PAULO, Brazil — Brazil was still in mourning Wednesday, the day after its World Cup team suffered the most one-sided semifinal defeat in tournament history.
“Massacre” was the banner headline in one newspaper. Two others went with “Humiliation.” Another popular sentiment was “Shame.”
But the Metro of Brasilia was the most creative. Its wordless front page shows a darkened stadium with only the scoreboard illuminated, flashing the final result: Germany 7, Brazil 1.
“We feel horrible, horrible, horrible. Demolished,” said Norma Figueiredo, 53, who works changing beds at a Sao Paulo hotel. “We had everything we needed to raise the Cup. But 7 to 1. Demolished.”
Still, Brazilians couldn’t stop talking about it. The postgame analysis on TV stretched deep into Tuesday night, then began again Wednesday morning with the World Cup postmortem pushing the crisis in the Middle East off otherwise serious news channels.
Even Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff had trouble accepting the result.
“My nightmares never got so bad,” she told a TV news network. “They never went that far.”
There were isolated reports of buses being torched in Sao Paulo shortly after the game ended but it wasn’t clear whether the vandalism was linked to the World Cup. At least one store selling electronics and household appliances was sacked, The Associated Press reported.
“The country is really hurt, we’re really upset,” Sidiley Lopes said as he sat in a restaurant near the bustling Itaquera metro stadium. “But we can forget quickly. Everything starts again next year.”
GERMAN TEAM TONES DOWN CELEBRATION
For Germany, Tuesday’s victory was perhaps the most dominant performance in its long soccer history. But it was also so stunningly easy, the Germans basically stopped celebrating their goals when the score reached 4-1 to avoid embarrassing their hosts.
And the story afterward wasn’t Germany’s tour de force as much as it was Brazil’s tour de farce.
“After losing the semifinal to Italy in 2006, we know how Brazil, the players and the fans feel,” said German coach Joachim Loew, who was an assistant to Juergen Klinsmann in that tournament in Germany. “So we have to be modest and humble and take the next step. The emotions are great. We won, we’ve made it to the final.
“But we couldn’t have expected this result.”
Toni Kroos, whose two goals and an assist early in the first half started the rout, was unbelieving as well.
“It was an impressive performance. It’s the best team performance for Germany I’ve been involved in,” he said. “Had someone said we’d have won 7-1, I wouldn’t have believed them. We’re happy and relieved to go through but there’s still one game to go. No one has won the World Cup in a semifinal.”
According to ZDF public television, which carried the game, more than 32 million Germans tuned in, a record for German TV.
ALFREDO DI STEFANO IS REMEMBERED
Alfredo Di Stefano, the Argentina soccer legend who died Monday in Madrid, was honored with a moment of silence before Wednesday’s World Cup semifinal between Argentina and the Netherlands.
The Argentines wore black armbands.
Di Stefano, who was 88, spent most of his career with Real Madrid. He played for the Spanish and Argentine national teams but never appeared in a World Cup.