Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has described Tuesday’s 7-1 World Cup semi-final humiliation by Germany as “catastrophic” and “the worst day of my life.”
The 65-year-old coach took responsibility of his team’s defeat, which surpassed the 3-0 loss to France in the 1998 final.
“I will be remembered as the coach to lose 7-1, but I knew that risk when I took the job,” said Scolari.
“The person who decided the line-up, the tactics, was me. It was my choice.”
The host nation became the first side to concede seven goals in a World Cup semi-final, surpassing Austria’s 6-1 loss to Germany in the 1954 tournament.
The game also equals Brazil’s all-time biggest margin of defeat- the 6-0 loss to Uruguay in 1920.
It is 38 years since their last competitive home loss- which also came in Belo Horizonte- a 3-1 defeat by Peru in the Copa America semi-finals.
Scolari has suffered similar fate before, when his Portugal team were thrashed on home soil by Greece in the final of Euro 2004.
The loss ended a 14-game unbeaten run for ‘La Selecao’, who were without skipper Thiago Silva and their leading goalscorer Neymar, but Scolari insists there’s no point “finding an excuse in Neymar’s absence”.
“We did our best- but we came up against a great German team,” he added.
“We couldn’t react to going behind. Not even the Germans can tell you how this happened- but it’s because of their skills and you have to respect that.”
Germany were already 5-0 up inside the opening half-hour, courtesy of a Thomas Muller early strike, Klose doubled the lead with his record 16th goal of a World Cup finals, Toni Kroos’ brace earned him the Budweiser Man-of-the-Match mantlepiece and Sami Khedira netted a fifth.
Substitute Andre Schurrle scored a brace after the break and his club team-mate Oscar grabbed a consolation for Brazil.