In Depth

Brazil mourns: David Luiz must carry burden of 'Mineirazo'

Defeat will haunt Brazil for generations as parents advised on how to help children cope

Brazil's stunning annihilation at the hands of Germany could have an even greater impact on the country than the defeat to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup.

The Selecao's record 7-1 defeat in front of their own fans in the semi-final of a tournament they expected to win has left the country stunned.

The players who were routed will "carry a burden that will not be forgotten in this century (and maybe not the next)", says Brazilian paper O Diario. It was the "worst and most humiliating" defeat in the history of Brazilian football, adds the paper. The "millionaires" in yellow must have "forgotten the meaning of the five stars of our shield".

The 1950 defeat to Uruguay at the Maracana in front of 200,000 fans became known as the Maracanazo – the Maracana blow – and left scars that are still felt today. By hosting the 2014 World Cup, Brazil was supposed to banish those memories, but not like this.

Brazil's biggest game on home soil for 64 years at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte ended in humiliation in front of a worldwide TV audience of billions. After the Maracanazo, Brazil must now contend with the Mineirazo.

It was "an occasion that will be remembered whenever the World Cup is played; perhaps, in a country that lives off the pride created by this sport, whenever it is even mentioned," says Phil McNulty of the BBC.

The result "will surely haunt Brazil for years and decades to come," says Jack Lang in the Daily Mirror.

The Brazilian press agree. The 2014 Brazil squad must "live for the rest of their careers with the mark of a historic and resounding failure", declares O Globo. And they must "find a way to live in the least painful way possible with this scar".

The survivors of Maracanazo have been forgiven, writes Thiago Saltana of Rio-based newspaper Lance!. Now, he says, David Luiz and his team-mates now "carry the weight of the biggest fiasco in the history of Brazilian football".

Newspaper Folho de Sao Paulo warns that the result could have political consequences for Dilma Roussef, Brazil's under-fire president. So far there has been little unrest during the World Cup despite anger over the huge amounts of money spent on staging the event while so many people live in poverty.

But the nature of the defeat could spark unrest, and the possibility that Argentina could go on to win the tournament or inflict more humiliation on Brazil in the third place play-off is also a concern.

Just to show how significant the Mineirazo the result could be, the same paper even gives advice to parents on how to help their children come to terms with the defeat.

"Frustration teaches," says psychologist Ana Cassia Maturano. "It shows that losing is part of the game and that we cannot have everything we want. Feeling sad and crying is normal."

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