The 7-1 destruction of Brazil came as a surprise to everyone - even the ever-structured Germans, who played with precision and accuracy.
The weeping Brazil players apologised to the nation, but the upset and anger from their embarrassed fans is likely to linger on.
WHAT LUIZ FELIPE SCOLARI SAID
"If I were to think of my life as a footballer, as a coach, as a physical education teacher, I think it was the worst day of my life. I'm going to be remembered probably because I lost 7-1, the worst defeat in Brazil's history, but that was a risk I knew I was running when I walked into this position.
"I ask the Brazilian people, please excuse us for this negative mistake. I'm sorry that we couldn't get to the final. My message for the Brazilian people and fans is that we tried to do what we could, we lost to a great team who had the skill to end the game in just six or seven minutes with four goals."
WHAT LOEW SAID
“After losing the semi-final to Italy in 2006, we know how Brazil, the players, Mr Scolari and the fans feel, so we have to be modest and humble and take the next step.
“We coped with the passion of the Brazilians and we knew that if we played to our capabilities we thought we would win – but we couldn’t have expected this result. We took our chances well and they strained under the pressure caused by conceding.”
WHAT THE MEDIA SAID
Paul Hayward, The Telegraph: "Neymar was not the only one missing in action. It was true of Brazil’s whole defence, discipline and structure. A majestic display of German passing through the centre of this Belo Horizonte pitch will be obscured by the trauma endured by Brazil...The indignity of this night will haunt Brazilian football for generations."
Michael Cox, The Guardian: "This will become one of the most famous thrashings in the history of football, partly because of the unprecedented nature of the scoreline at such a stage of the World Cup, but also because the result entirely reflected the gulf in class between the sides."
The dust after the Belo Horizonte demolition begins to settle. Germany were impressive as they took Brazil to pieces, but they now need to stay focused as they prepare for Sunday's final. It's difficult to imagine a Loew side falling victim to complacency, admittedly; and because all the attention is on Brazil's humiliation, it may be easy for them to have a relaxed run-up to the final, out of the media spotlight.
But Germany, powerful as they were, were undoubtedly assisted by their opponents' lack of organisation and inspiration. Maybe the Brazil squad's evident distress over the loss of Neymar - demonstrated by their display of his shirt during the national anthems, more reminiscent of a death rather than an injury - proved a distraction. It could be that the public panic over the Neymar-shaped hole in the Brazil side shook the team's belief that they could cope without him.
Even if that were the case, such an ignominious defeat can't be explained away so easily, and questions must be asked of each of the players as well as the coach. We were quite surprised that Scolari - now 65 years old - didn't take the opportunity immediately after the game to announce his forthcoming retirement; but perhaps that might follow after Saturday's third-place play-off.
While Brazil fans were weeping in the stands and in the streets, the rest of the world watched in shock and disbelief.
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This being sport, though, there was not a little dark amusement at the hosts' plight.
Perhaps it was partly because of the ruthless way they knocked out crowd-pleasing underdogs Colombia; perhaps it was the panic and hysteria around the absence of Neymar; but the global audience was broadly unsympathetic.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Whoever triumphs between the Netherlands and Argentina tonight, they'll no doubt be a little more wary of Germany than they might have been previously...that is, of course, unless they manage to pull off a win by a seven-goal margin.
As for Brazil? Even if they manage to regain some face by sneaking third place (and even better if they manage it by beating South American rivals Argentina), that's not going to be good enough for a country that was firmly hoping for a sixth World Cup win.
- Sports & Recreation