Rio de Janeiro: When Brazil's national soccer team lost to Germany on Tuesday in a 7-1 rout, it lost something much larger than a game. (Brazil Thrashed by Germany)
The sports newspaper Lance could not hold back its disgust, calling the defeat "the largest shame in history." Juca Kfouri, a top soccer commentator, said, "Brazilian soccer was reduced to dust." Carmelita Maria de Almeida, 53, a maid who watched the tragedy unfold at a bar, said: "I cannot remember a disappointment like today. I won't stop being Brazilian because of this, but it still hurts so much."
The loss stunned Brazil, where pride over five previous World Cup championships is forged into the national identity, as is a humiliating defeat to Uruguay the last time Brazil played host to the World Cup, in 1950. Brazilian fans brimmed with confidence heading into the game; the Globo television network showed frenzied percussionists playing the national anthem while commentators exalted the strengths of the national team.