"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.” Luiz Felipe Scolari
A physical education teacher? Who is Scolari trying to kid. He should not have to reflect on his time as a teacher to work out if this was the worst defeat in his career. He was managing Brazil at a World Cup semi-final in Brazil and they were battered beyond belief. They were dismantled, demolished, decimated and disgraced. They were eliminated, eviscerated, emasculated and embarrassed. They were flattened, ground down and humiliated.
They were 5-0 down within half an hour and could have conceded more than seven goals had Germany not eased off a little to soak up the occasion, enjoy the olés and conserve their legs for the final. This was not only Scolari's worst defeat; this was Brazil's worst defeat. It might even have been the most shocking defeat in World Cup history, or football history, or even sporting history. What comes close?
What other humiliations in sport compare with what Brazil suffered against Germany? England losing 1-0 to USA in the 1950 World Cup? Don Bradman being bowled for a duck in his final Test innings? James "Buster" Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson? North Korea beating Italy in the 1966 World Cup? Australia thrashing England in the Ashes last winter? Tiger Woods having to make a grovelling apology? Lance Armstrong sitting down with Oprah Winfrey to come clean? Greg Norman's capitulation in the Masters in 1996? Jean van de Velde's meltdown at the Open in 1999?
Brazil were not clear favourites against Germany, but they suffered the ignominy of losing in front of their own fans. They were booed off at half-time and had to listen to their own supporters cheer every German pass in the second half as they tried to show the players just how disgusted they were with this performance. Has sport ever left anyone as humiliated as Brazil's players were last night?