While Germany stole the headlines in 2014 for their deserved World Cup triumph, it was surely their 7-1 humiliation of the hosts Brazil in the semi-final which sticks in the memory.
Belo Horizonte used to be the bête noire of English football, but the name will now live in infamy in Brazilian soccer annals too; the ‘beautiful horizon’ was a dark sky of doom over Brazil.
The sheer magnitude of the German victory remains off the scale of historic World Cup shocks.
Placed alongside the David & Goliath landmarks of previous tournaments – The USA rocking England in 1950, North Korea dumping Italy out in 1966 and Algeria surprising Germany in 1982 for instance, 2014’s host nation meltdown involved no minnows but appears the biggest of them all.
It was more a case of Brazil losing badly than Germany winning Judi Online greatly. Germany’s long-term planning certainly came to fruition – six of their semi-final side had lined up for their U21 team in 2009, and Jogi Löw admitted to having studied and learnt from South American football amongst others in forging a playing style, in stark contrast to Brazil persisting with its 1994-winning methods.
Yet Germany’s draw with Ghana and one-goal wins over Argentina, France and the USA do not suggest a goliath of a team bestrode the field in Belo Horizonte.
It had all looked so bright as the seleçao rode their luck, as hosts usually do, in their opening win over Croatia and in their penalty triumph over Chile, before the overwhelming pressure of a nation and FIFA’s lunatic leniency directive to referees helped overawe the more talented Colombians in the quarter-final. As Löw’s men galloped through the porous Brazilian midfield in a paralyzing seven-minute spell which yielded four goals, the green and gold fervour turned suddenly, horrifically sour as the spectre of sudden death appeared
The horror was far from confined to Brazilians. Everyone came to work the next day to share stories of their mild trauma at witnessing Germany go 7-0 up against the host nation.
Ironically, the Teutonic deluge created a wave of sympathy for the losing team who in their previous match had disgraced the tournament by using strong-arm tactics to oust the free-flowing Colombians.
But as the German goal-machine kept scoring, it began to look like bullying, and the ruthlessness of the Mannschaft was laid bare in their furious reactions to conceding a goal at the end. Professionals should not take their foot off the pedal to spare an opponent from abject humiliation, yet many were wishing Germany would leave it at 5-0.
Whilst it was not pleasant thinking 300 million souls on the other side of the Atlantic were in anguish, it still felt reassuring that the expert predictions were shown up for the guesses they always are, and that whatever disaster was unfolding on the pitch, the pain was being felt together. That surely is the essence of football supporting …