Looking back at Germany v Brazil, World Cup semi-final

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In the end, it all felt uncomfortable. All so desperately awkward. As an impartial observer and a guest in Brazil at its own carnival, witnessing the humiliation at the Estádio Mineirão was almost too much. The descent to the press conference room as the arena emptied became an exercise in avoiding eye contact with the locals. Those clad in yellow were numbed by the whole experience, trudging out into the night in disbelief at the embarrassment they had endured. The German contingent chorused almost apologetically in celebration, but all the home support wanted to do was escape. This was too much.

Recollections of that semi-final require context. The conviction that Brazil would prevail to fulfil the slogan emblazoned on the team bus – “Brace yourselves: the sixth is coming” – had grown through the World Cup’s group stage, expectations fuelled through the drama of a penalty shootout win over an excellent Chile in the last 16 and the impressive nature of their dismissal of the much fancied Colombia in Fortaleza.

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