Brazil’s distraught football fans are waking up from their mass World Cup hangover today, out of the competition they covet and humiliated.
As their dreams of glory lay in pieces some turned on each other, others rioted on the streets and one even through his widescreen TV out of his window.
The world’s press took turns in compounding the humiliation with mock-ups and barbed digs at Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team after a night he called the worst of his life. Meanwhile, the Brazilian Press told him to ‘go to hell’.
In Brazil itself, sadness quickly turned to anger. Pictures emerged today of fans fighting on the terraces inside The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte as their side went down 7-1 to Germany in the World Cup semi-final
Riot police were also out in force in several Brazilian cities in case trouble kicked off. In Rio de Janeiro officers descended on Copacabana beach amid reports of gunfire.
Authorities were called to a densely-populated area of Sao Paulo after football supporters reportedly set a bus alight, leaving it as little more than a burnt-out shell.
Police on horseback were called to the Fifa Fan Fest in Recife after scuffles broke out following Germany’s third goal against Brazil. One of the police riders was taken to hospital after one of the horse panicked, throwing the policeman to the ground, according to reports.
Fights also reportedly broke out among Brazilian and German fans watching the game in the Savassi nightclub region of Belo Horizonte, where the semifinal showdown was taking place.
Groups of youths were also reported attacking and robbing tourists near the famous Copacabana Palace hotel. Police detained eight people and described climate among fans gathered on the beach as ‘tense’.
President Dilma Rousseff, who is facing an October election that many think could be made tougher by the soccer team’s poor showing, took to Twitter to try to rally the nation.
‘Like many Brazilians, I’m very, very sad because of this defeat,’ she tweeted. ‘I feel bad for all of us – for fans and for our players. But let’s not be broken. Brazil, get up, shake off the dust and come out on top.’
Some have speculated that the team’s poor showing may affect Ms Rousseff’s chances in the presidential election in October.
Meanwhile, Brazil newspapers have described the thrashing as ‘shameful’. Rio de Janeiro-based Lance newspaper’s website describes the defeat as the ‘biggest shame in history’.
The team, led by stand-in captain David Luiz, were booed off following the disappointing performance, the biggest defeat in a World Cup semi-final and Brazil’s worst loss in their history.
The match became Twitter’s most discussed sports game ever, with 35.6 million tweets sent by users. It easily beat the previous record of 24.9 million tweets set by the Super Bowl earlier in 2014.
The game also broke the record for the most tweets per minute – when Germany’s Sami Khedira’s scored the team’s fifth goal in the 29th minute Twitter saw 580,166 tweets per minute.
But four goals in the space of just seven first-half minutes silenced an entire nation leaving the shell-shocked nations an almost impossible task to progress to the final, facing a 5-0 deficit at half time.
Their fate was sealed in the second half when two more goals by Germany’s striker Andre Schurlle ended their hopes.
After the game, Luiz said: ‘We got lost a little bit there. It’s very difficult to explain right now. The dream is over, in a way that the people didn’t want.
‘We wanted to make the people happy … unfortunately we couldn’t. We apologise to all Brazilians.’
Brazil’s head coach Felipe Scolari said he had experienced the worst day of his life in the wake of the result.
He said: ‘I’ll be remembered probably because I lost 7-1, the worst defeat Brazil have ever had, but that was a risk I knew I was running when I accepted this position. Life goes on. That’s what I’ll do.’
However, he rejected the suggestion that Neymar’s serious injury, and the emotion created by his absence, had played a key part in the defeat.
‘No, no, no. Let’s not try to find an excuse in Neymar or the emotions of the anthem,’ he said.