A stunned Luiz Felipe Scolari took full responsibility for Brazil’s “catastrophic” 7-1 FIFA World Cup semi-final hammering by Germany.
Brazil’s hopes of being crowned world champions on home soil for the first time were sensationally ended as they were put to the sword by ruthless Germany, who became the first team to score seven goals in a World Cup semi-final.
Scolari urged his players not to dwell on the absence of Neymar, who suffered a fractured vertebra against Colombia on Friday, but Brazil fell to pieces without their injured playmaker and suspended captain Thiago Silva in Belo Horizonte.
Germany coach Joachim Low had warned the host nation “we are not done yet” ahead of the semi-final clash at Estadio Mineirao, but even he could not have dreamed of the manner in which they took Scolari’s men apart.
Thomas Muller opened the scoring, then Miroslav Klose surpassed legendary Brazil striker Ronaldo’s record tally of 15 goals in World Cup finals before Toni Kroos (two) and Sami Khedira sensationally made it 5-0 after only 29 minutes.
Brazil’s first-half defending was abysmal and it was not much better in the second period, as Andre Schurrle added another two goals before Oscar pulled one back late on.
Scolari took the blame for the hosts’ capitulation and apologised for their woeful performance, but also gave credit to Germany for their outstanding display.
He said: “Who is responsible for this result? I am, it’s me. The blame for this catastrophic result can be shared between us all, but the person who decided the line-up, the tactics was me.
“It was my choice. We tried to do what we could, we did our best – but we came up against a great German team.
“We didn’t, couldn’t react to going behind. Not even the Germans can tell you how this happened – but it’s because their skills and you have to respect that.
“My message for the Brazilian people is this: Please excuse us for this performance. I’m sorry that we weren’t able to get to the final – and we’re going to try to win the third place match.
“We still have something to play for.”
Germany will play either the Netherlands or Argentina in the final at the Maracana on Sunday, while Scolari must somehow get his side up for a third-place play-off in Brasilia.