A child cries after Brazil's World Cup loss to Germany
07/09/2014 at 03:05 PM EDT
It wasn't just a bad dream. Brazilians woke up Wednesday to dreadful headlines describing the shame and humiliation
of their soccer team's historic defeat
of 7-1 to Germany in the World Cup's semifinal.
The country's leading soccer publication stated simply: "A day to forget."
"It was the most shameful performance of all times," said Almir Rogelio, 32, who was waiting at a newspaper stand for a friend. "I honestly woke up and didn't even want to remember what happened."
A Brazil soccer fan cries as Germany scores against her team
Bruno Magalhaes / AP
During Tuesday's match, Germany scored faster than partying fans could keep count. Later, tears smudged the faces of children painted in Brazil's colors of canary yellow and green. Brazil coach Felipe Scolari
buried his face in his hands.
"It was a tragedy. Sad, very sad, the greatest defeat of all the history of the Brazilian national team," wrote Tostao, one of Brazil's forwards in the 1970 World Cup and now a sports columnist for the Folha de S. Paulo
Some Brazil fans weep in reaction to a humiliating 7-1 loss
Niklas Larsson / Bildbyran / ZUMA
Most heartbreaking for many Brazilians was suffering the country's worst World Cup defeat on home turf, as it hosted the tournament for the first time in 64 years.
"It was embarrassing. They have some nerve with the Brazilian people. We deserved so much better," said Manuel Alves, 58. "The worst was all the money spent, having so many other problems that need to be fixed."
A Brazil soccer fan wearing contact lenses that mimic the Brazilian flag reacts to the loss
Leo Correa / AP
Brazil spent billions of dollars
preparing for the tournament, and the high cost has ignited angry protests against the World Cup
over the past year. Demonstrators have complained about so much being spent while the nation suffers from woeful public services.
Although few thought Brazil's humiliating loss would spark renewed mass protests, it is sure to put a severely sour taste back into the mouths of the nation's fans.
Brazil fans react to the shocking loss
KCS Presse / Splash News Online
"I hope this can make people wake up and start thinking with their heads and not their emotions and that people translate the anger they are feeling at the ballot boxes," said Antonio Hipolito, who works at a bookstore in a wealthy part of Rio but lives in a distant, hardscrabble neighborhood.
"Soccer is just an illusion and we need to wake up to reality," he said.
A Brazil fan covers his face after the World Cup semifinal
Frank Augstein / AP
Around the Internet, both Brazil fans and casual observers couldn't help commenting on the loss.
One posted an image of famous Brazilian superfan Gaúcho da Copa
handing over his famous mock World Cup trophy to a German fan:
While another Brazilian referenced one of his country's most enduring attractions:
Movie buffs compared the semifinal match to the climax of The Avengers
Others made enjoyably dumb jokes:
While others poked fun at ill-fated Brazilian goalie Júlio César.
Americans, though, did what we always do: found a way to make the whole thing about us, with the help of new national hero Tim Howard