Belo Horizonte, Jul 9 (AFP): Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari took responsibility for Germany’s 7-1 thrashing of his star-studded side that took him to rock bottom in a career that has seen spectacular highs as well as controversy.
“I think it was the worst day of my life,” said the 65-year-old. The result, one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history, was “catastrophic,” he admitted.
“I will be remembered as the coach to lose 7-1, but I knew that risk when I took the job and life goes on so that is what I am going to do.”
Scolari did not say exactly what he would do after Brazil were swept aside by five goals from Thomas Mueller, Miroslav Klose, Sami Khedira and two from Toni Kroos in the opening half hour.
Andre Schuerrle added two more goals after half-time before Oscar’s desperate late consolation.
There will be calls for Scolari’s head after the Selecao slumped to their biggest ever defeat on Brazilian soil.
“My message for the Brazilian people and fans is that we did what we could do and we did what we think was our best,” added Scolari.
“We lost to a great team, with great skill, that took six minutes to change the game with four goals in an extraordinary manner.
“Please excuse us for this mistake. We are sorry we could not get to the final,” he said.
“Who is the one responsible? I am. This catastrophic result can be shared with the whole group because that is what my players say and want, but I am the one who chooses the tactics, the lineup, so the person responsible for the result is me.”
Scolari guided Brazil to victory in the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan and four years later took Portugal to the semi-finals.
His status as a football legend is now tainted, however, and he also faces an investigation into alleged tax fraud in Portugal.
“My future is not a subject for me to talk about now. I have to work to get a good result on Saturday” in the third-place playoff in Brasilia, he added.
Scolari had insisted before and during the World Cup that Brazil would emerge victorious on home soil.
And he denied suggestions that his statements had only piled the pressure of an expectant nation upon his players.
“I don’t regret what I said,” he added.
“They knew since the beginning that playing at home we had to be champions, I don’t think I put any pressure on them.
“They reached the sixth match showing the capacity they had. There is no regret. It didn’t work out due to 10 minutes of the match today.”
Brazil received a huge blow coming into the game when star striker Neymar suffered a fractured vertebrae in their quarter-final win over Colombia, ruling him out for the rest of the tournament.
However, Scolari dismissed suggestions the Barcelona man’s absence had been the key to his side’s disintegration in the first-half.
“Let’s not try to find an excuse. What happened is that Germany imposed a fantastic rhythm and was able in two or three moments to define the match.
“It has nothing to do with Neymar.”
And the former Chelsea boss admitted he will have a huge job on his hands to lift his players for the third-place playoff in Brasilia.
“Obviously the atmosphere in the dressing room afterwards was terrible. There is nothing we can do in this first or second hour after the match.
“The changes we need to make will come for Saturday’s match. The atmosphere was terrible because no one expected this result.”