• World Cup

Scolari pleads for forgiveness

ESPN staff
July 9, 2014
Brazil fall short of their objective

Luiz Felipe Scolari says Brazil's 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany was "the worst day of his life" as he pleaded fans for the country's forgiveness.

His side were humiliated by in Belo Horizonte as Miroslav Klose became the most prolific goalscorer in World Cup history, adding further salt into the wounds by overhauling Ronaldo's record. The defeat equals the team's worst loss in their history and Scolari accepted that he was at fault.

Loew's sympathy for Scolari

  • Joachim Loew says he "feels sorry" for Brazil counterpart Luiz Felipe Scolari and likened the hosts' jaw-dropping defeat to his side's semi-final exit to Italy at the 2006 World Cup, when hosts Germany were expected to go through.
  • Loew said: "I can understand what Scolari is going through. It's a bit like in 2006, when Italy beat us. The whole country wants you to make it to the final. I feel sorry for him."
  • Loew claimed the key to the thrashing was the maturity of his players - and that their approach will help in the final against the Netherlands or Argentina.
  • "It was important to counter their passion and emotions with calmness, patience and persistence, also with courage and believe in our own strength," Loew said on German network ZDF. "Brazil were shocked, they did not expect that."
  • "We scored five goals in 18 minutes. It's clear that they were shocked.
  • "We knew that if we are quick on the counters, and go straight into attack after winning balls they will be disorganised. We played well in the first half.
  • "It's not over yet. Humbleness will suit us just fine. We might have recorded a huge win, but we must stay focused until Sunday. The players are ready to make that last step."

"Please excuse us for this mistake. I'm sorry we couldn't get to the final. This is a catastrophe," Scolari said. "It's probably the worst moment of my career. This is the worst day of my life.

"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.

"Who is responsible when the team plays? Who is invited to be the coach? Who is responsible for picking the team? I am. It's me. So the catastrophic result can be shared by the whole group.

"My players will tell you we will share our responsibilities. But who decided the tactics, I did. So the person responsible is me."

Despite the defeat, Brazil's first World Cup loss on home soil since they were beaten in the 1950 final, Scolari insisted he had no regrets but the humiliation has made it uncertain whether he will still be in charge to lead the team to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"I don't have any regrets for the choices I made, but I have to put up with the consequences," said the manager who guided Brazil to World Cup success in 2002. "I don't have any debt to the country. I did my job as I always have. I did what I thought was best.

"We had one defeat today. For a year and a half, this was a third defeat in 28 matches. In 2002, we won. Great. Now we've lost. But it was my choice. I made the choices. Me. Don't forget there's a match on Saturday, though. We can be third, so we still have a match to play."

While Brazil were without talisman Neymar and suspended captain Thiago Silva, Scolari refused to look for an excuse.

He added: "We did what we think was our best and we lost to a great team who in six or seven minutes, ended the game in an extraordinary manner. I can tell you that, after the first goal, we had a problem and, with the skills of a team who have been working together for a long time, they capitalised on it.

"Everyone blanked out. We tried to organise, but there was nothing we could do at that moment. They probably could have done it with Neymar on the field as well. Let's not try to find an excuse. What happened is that Germany had a fantastic rhythm and defined the match. Germany made use of those moments and Neymar has nothing to do with that. He would not have made a difference to defend all of the goals. Germany would have done this regardless."

In the absence of Silva, David Luiz stepped in to manage the defence with Dante, who was making his debut at the tournament. Luiz was left in tears as he walked off the pitch.

"I am sorry we couldn't give the fans happiness," Luiz said. "We didn't get it and I ask all of Brazil to forgive me. I only wanted to see all of Brazil smile. This was the most important match of my life."

David Luiz was in tears after the final whistle © Getty Images
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