After so many goals, there was only one description: Mineirazo.
This was not painfully dramatic like the famous 1950 defeat to Uruguay, but that was only because it was possibly worse: it was so humiliatingly excruciating.
The details of Germany’s 7-1 win – and the sheer numbers alone are so searing – remain difficult to register. It revealed so much that the first boos were not heard until the 44th minute, long after the fifth goal had been scored. It was as if that was how long it took for the utter shock to wear off, to realise just how bad this was. The dimensions to this defeat were as plentiful as Germany’s goals. Given the history, given the context, given the politics, this may well be the most stunning World Cup match of all time.
After a World Cup that Brazil had waited two generations for, they have only suffered a defeat that will take generations to forget.
The circumstances are almost cruel. The scale of the defeat certainly was. The competition Brazil have dominated and won more than any other country has also left them with their two most painful defeats.
They are of the type that very few victories can erode, that almost nothing can rectify.
Brazil now has so much to consider.
On their team bus for this World Cup, the message read: ‘Brace Yourself – The Sixth is Coming’. That took on dark tones. The game itself took on a scarcely believable hue.
There was no sixth trophy. There was only a 7-1 defeat. Read it. It remains shocking. Brazil will never want to look at it again.
And yet, as stunning as this event was, elements were not that surprising. The signs were there, especially from Brazil. As their campaign went on, it did not seem like they were building up to anything special, to that sixth trophy. Instead, it felt like they were just about keeping it together, that they were set to crumble.
In virtually all of their games so far, they came perilously close to the edge. Chile were inches from knocking them out, a frantic physicality was needed to eliminate Colombia.
The very fact it came to that in the quarter-final, however, revealed so much about this team. They never had the quality to win this World Cup.
By the end, too, the loss of their single world-class attacker in Neymar felt irrelevant. He couldn’t have prevented this. There was always the danger of it happening, that a better side would unravel them.
And yet, it’s still difficult not to think the hysterical reaction fed into the historic nature of this humiliation. The frenzy the entire country worked itself into saw the equal but opposite reaction on this pitch. Once the deeper problems were exposed, it all gave way.
Because, of course, Brazil are not this bad. They are not 7-1 bad. This was about something else.
This semi-final as an event was certainly something else.
Then, there is Germany. What a statement. The story is all about Brazil’s collapse, but they were the driving force – in so many ways. It was not just about the implosion of the hosts. Germany imposed that upon them.
Sure, Brazil’s awful defensive problems were the direct cause of that tone-setting first goal, as Thomas Muller plundered the ball into the net from close in.
Thereafter, though, the Germans brutally expanded the gap between the sides.
You only had to look at the interchange for the fourth goal, the emphatic finishes of the third and seventh, as both Toni Kroos hammered in one and Andre Schurrle powered in the next.
Before all that, there was Miroslav Klose’s second. What a situation in which to break a legendary Brazilian’s record. Ronaldo was forced to congratulate the forward for his 16th goal on national television, adding insult to injury.
The only question is whether such a ridiculously handsome win is actually healthy for Germany, whether they could have benefitted from a bigger challenge, whether this will blunt them.
After a semi-final against the most successful nation in World Cup history, that is an astonishing to say.
This was just an astonishing event.