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Volume 6 No. 216
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German Media 'Savor' Blowout Victory, But In Brazil, Reaction Is Incendiary

German media "savored" the national team's 7-1 semifinal victory over World Cup hosts Brazil on Wednesday, describing the rout "as a sensation and a miracle and -- even though the final is yet to come -- its players as immortal," according to Madeline Chambers of REUTERS. Top-selling Bild "devoted six of its eight main pages to the match" under the banner headline "Speechless!" The paper "dedicated a full page to each of the five German goalscorers in their red and black strip." Daily Die Welt's website -- the victory was too late to make many papers' print editions -- called the match "The Seventh Wonder of Football." Despite heavy storms, fireworks "rang out across Berlin after each goal on Tuesday night and after the final whistle cars raced through the city with honking horns and German flags hanging from the windows" (REUTERS, 7/9).

BRAZIL MEDIA CONDEMN 'DISGRACE': REUTERS' Andrew Downie reported Brazilian newspapers and websites "were unanimous" that the match "was the greatest shame in the country's illustrious footballing history." "Historic Disgrace" read the "massive headline" on the website of the Folha de São Paulo, Brazil’s most influential newspaper. "Brazilian football was reduced to dust," said main sports columnist Juca Kfouri. The globoesporte website hashtag chosen was "#I Can’t Believe it" (REUTERS, 7/9). The BBC noted Brazilian newspapers described the game as "shameful" while social media was "dominated by reaction from football supporters, players and other sportsman." BBC presenter Gary Lineker said, "It was not just a defeat for the host nation, but a humiliation for the host nation. It is the most extraordinary night's football I have ever witnessed and it was a result you could never imagine in a million years." Rio de Janeiro-based newspaper Lance's website described the defeat as the "biggest shame in history." Folha ran the headline "Historical humiliation." Brazil news site O Globo wrote, "Brazil is slain by Germany and suffers the biggest defeat in their history: 7-1." "Le Desastre" was printed alongside the picture of Brazil's David Luiz on the front page of France's L'Equipe. The London Telegraph described Brazil's defeat as the "greatest humiliation in World Cup history." Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil said: "What a match! Estadio do Maracana - great to see you again." Germany defender Per Mertesacker said: "DIE MANNSCHAFT! I really enjoy this moment... now let's go all in for the final." Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan said, "Sometimes the best of us succumb to the least expected. Life teaches us every time the best are not infallible. Oh Brazil..." (BBC, 7/9). O Globo published "a scathing criticism of its national team’s display against Germany on Tuesday night, giving every single player a zero out of 10 rating for their performance" (London EVENING STANDARD, 7/9).

FORMER PLAYERS REACT: The AFP reported Pele "was quick to cast aside" his country's loss, saying that the Selecao "would deliver in Russia in 2018." Pele wrote on his Twitter feed, "We'll get the sixth title in Russia. Congratulations to Germany. I always said that football is a box of surprises. Nobody in this world expected this result" (AFP, 7/9). REUTERS' Cawthorne & Ampuero wrote former Argentina player Diego Maradona said it was a "hammer-blow" that "has damaged the hosts' image around the world." Maradona: "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. Brazil just didn't turn up and I think the worst thing for Brazil is that they gave an extremely poor image" (REUTERS, 7/9).

PRESIDENTIAL MATTERS: The AFP reported Brazilians "cried, cursed their president and covered their faces in shame." A section of the crowd "chanted sexually expletive obscenities against the players and President Dilma Rousseff, who during the cup had mostly enjoyed a reprieve from protests" over the record A$11B ($10.3B) spent to host the tournament. The tears "began well before the final whistle, with the third German goal in the first half causing children and adults to start bawling in the stadium and in public screenings across the nation." Rousseff said she was “very sad’’ and “sorry’’ about the result. Rousseff: “Like every Brazilian, I am very, very said about this defeat. I am immensely sorry for all of us. Fans and our players’’ (AFP, 7/9).