Brazil received a lesson in football excellence during Tuesday afternoon’s 7-1 collapse against Germany. Thanks to the smattering of Germans fans at Piola in Brickell, a thinning herd of Brazilian supporters also learned some German.
Don’t blame the fans if they did not learn all of that though. The counting lesson came fast. Four of Germany’s seven goals came in a six-minute, first-half stretch that put them up 5-0 and effectively extinguished any hope for a Brazilian comeback in the World Cup semifinal.
Many fans left at that point, pre-empting the end-of-game horn-honking celebration that had followed most of Brazil’s prior matches with a mad dash to go anywhere else.
“At two goals it was over,” Brazil fan Pierre Zonzon said after the game. “We knew it would be a difficult match without Neymar. They just have such a great defense.”
For most of the second half, fans turned their attention to phones, food and family. Anything but fútbol .
Sporting events are normally zero-sum games – when one fan base rises in jubilation, the other is expected to fall in agony. But as Nicole Barthel and her German cohorts celebrated Andre Schurrle’s pair of second-half goals, the Brazilian fans seemed to ignore what was transpiring on-screen to the best of their ability.
“We were afraid of Brazil, we thought it would be a close match,” Barthel said later. “Obviously it wasn’t. This is amazing.”
Oscar’s 90th-minute tally could not provide a respite either. It seemed to be more of a sick joke – a reminder of how much the Brazilian fans had appreciated all of the host nation’s goals that came before in the World Cup and how little they would mean from then on.
One Brazilian fan sounded his horn, but the air had already been let of his team’s chances of advancing.
The only relief for supporters came from the final whistle, signaling the end of a two-hour destruction of A Selecao’s 39-year winning streak in competitive games at home.
Some fans said they’ll now root for Argentina, the side that quickly went from continental rival to South American brother with Brazil’s loss.
Above all else, Zonzon said he was rooting for Brazil because of the party a World Cup win would bring to the area. The Europeans don’t party quite the same, he said.
Barthel begged to differ.
“Germany is one big party right now,” she said. “We are in the wrong country.”