World Cup stunning moments: Germany humiliate Brazil 7-1 | Simon Burnton

Germany conjured football of a savagery unwitnessed against significant opposition in the tournament’s history

When it comes to the World Cup, hosting is supposed to help. Just ask Uruguay (1930), Italy (1934), England (1966), West Germany (1974), Argentina (1978) and France (1988), or Sweden (1958), Chile (1962) and South Korea (2002), who unexpectedly finished second, third and fourth, respectively. Rival teams should be cowed by the passion and the number of home fans, the hosts buoyed.

Not this time. “You looked at the faces of the Brazilian players when they walked on the pitch during the World Cup and it looked like they were about to compete in the Hunger Games,” said Zico, great Brazilian midfielder of the 1970s and 80s. “They weren’t enjoying the moment and that made things harder for them. The moment they met a team of the same pedigree they were caught out.”

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