Reda Maher

Brazil 360: Blame must be shared, say fans, as Felipao accepts responsibility

Reda Maher

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Brazil’s 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semi-finals of the World Cup generated a variety of responses during the match.

Some fans booed; some continued to cheer their team; some fell silent; many left early.

But everyone was left with a crushing sense of disappointment that the host nation’s run should come to an end in touch emphatic fashion.

My view was that, following the injury to Neymar, boss Luiz Felipe Scolari had set about preparing for the match in the wrong way.

By attempting to create a siege mentality, he overburdened his side with emotion, distracted them from the task in hand, which was to try and beat a Germany side which, until this point, hadn’t shown its true colours.

[GERMANY WERE JUST TEASING US AS BRAZIL LOSE HEADS]

But many of the fans I spoke to disagreed – they also felt that the match was lost before it was even played, but because Neymar was their only genuinely top player.

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“I’m ashamed to say I’m from Belo Horizonte,” Cynthia said with a wry smile. “I would love to say Germany were too good but we played like a non-league team.

“I can’t blame Scolari – we were disorganised and the Germans were f***ing organised. They never lost control.

“It shouldn’t be 7-1, but we only really have one player who can change games, and that’s Neymar. David Luiz tried his best but it’s not enough.”

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The theme of this Brazil side lacking quality players was pressed home by Katarina, also from Belo Horizonte.

“I don’t blame Felipao or any of the team, other than we played a bad game and don’t have a good team.

“We have just one hero, and he was gone. The team isn’t up to it, and while I appreciate David Luiz’s leadership, we need a lot more players all over the pitch.”

Victor was more distressed, his forced thumbs-up symbolic of an eight-hour drive from Sao Paulo.

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“There are several reasons. Too dependent on Neymar, players like Fred – who should never be near the World Cup – and Felipao’s management.

“Most of the responsibility is with Felipao but we’re not good enough.”

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It’s not like Brazil are short of talent. If anything, the coach was guilty of being too loyal to the players which won him last year’s Confederations Cup, ignoring the likes of Lucas Moura, Philippe Coutinho, Wellington, Ronaldinho and even Kaka.

Scolari did indeed assume that responsibility, begging for forgiveness in the post-match press conference, and admitting his side had lost control.

[SCOLARI: BLAME ME FOR HUMILIATION]

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David Luiz, captain for the day in the absence of Thiago Silva, wept on the pitch and to reporters, saying he was “so sorry”.

[LUIZ BREAKS DOWN IN TEARS]

But, ultimately, this Brazil team lacks the talent of previous vintages, and it needed to remain functional and organised to get past Germany.

I still maintain the Neymar situation got to their heads – his absence, and Fred’s presence, did not lead Brazil to concede five goals in half an hour.

A total loss of control was responsible for that and that, of course, is down to the coach.

Eurosport’s Reda Maher is on location in Brazil for the duration of the 2014 World Cup - follow him on Twitter @Reda_Eurosport

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