Brazil's pride has received a hammer blow, feels Diego Maradona. The Argentine legend, a former FIFA World Cup winner, was reacting in a chat-show after Germany thrashed hosts Brazil 7-1 in a World Cup semifinal at Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.
The stunning defeat was a record for five-time world champions Brazil. It was their first loss at home in 64 competitive matches since 1975, and the first time they had lost by six goals in any match since Uruguay beat them 6-0 in the Copa America in 1920. (Also read: Brazil Press Decry Defeat to Germany as 'Shame of Shames')
"I said Germany were better than Brazil, I didn't like Brazil from the start, but I didn't think Germany were going to be so imposing, so devastating, so decisive," Maradona said. (Read: Scolari Refuses to Quit Brazil Job)
"Brazil just didn't turn up and I think the worst thing for Brazil is that they gave an extremely poor image. OK, Germany were strong but the Brazil players simply weren't on the pitch."
Maradona has first-hand knowledge on how it feels to be skinned by the Germans. He had managed Argentina in the 2010 World Cup where the Germans beat his team 4-0 in the quarterfinals. (Related: Neymar to Join Brazil for Third Place Play-Off)
That scoreline, Maradona justified on the Venezuelan TV, was different, because Argentina fought harder and let in three late goals rather than surrender from the start.
"I'm sorry because Brazil was so proud of its team, they wanted to reach the final, but football gives you these hammer-blows," Maradona added.
Brazil and Argentina have been traditional rivals and the German invasion gave Maradona enough fodder to slam Luiz Felipe Scolari's team. (Read: I Ask for the Forgiveness of the Brazilian People, Says David Luiz)
"Brazil didn't stop anything in the midfield, anyone could get through. The defenders, Dante and David Luiz, had no coordination," Maradona said. Dante stood in for suspended captain Thiago Silva while striker Neymar was out injured.
"It was like five-a-side. You give it to me, I give it you, and you shoot," Maradona added of the ease with which Germany's strikers stroked the ball around in the buildup to the goals.
Brazil qualified for the tournament automatically as hosts.
Praising Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as a "monster", Maradona said the Europeans nevertheless have weaknesses. "This Germany is vulnerable," said Maradona. Argentina play Germany in Sunday's final while Brazil take on the Netherlands on Saturday for the third place. (Five Warnings for Rampant Germans)
(With Reuters inputs)