Scolari takes responsibility for defeat
After Brazil suffered their "worst loss" in their most important home game in 64 years, all coach Luiz Felipe Scolari could do was take the blame for his team's 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Germany.
"The catastrophic result can be shared with the whole group, but the choice and who decided the tactical lineup -- I did. The person who is responsible is me," Scolari said.
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Brazil were undone when Germany scored five goals within 30 minutes in the first half, including four goals in a seven-minute span.
"My message is for the Brazilian people that we tried to do what we could do," Scolari said. "We did what we think was our best and we lost to a great team who in six or seven minutes, ended the game in an extraordinary manner.
"I'm sorry that we were not able to get to the final and we will continue to honour what our team is and fight for third place."
Brazil appeared helpless during Germany's onslaught, with Scolari saying "I think everyone blanked out."
"We tried to organise, but there was nothing we could do at that moment," the coach said.
Brazil were lacking injured star forward Neymar, but Scolari said his presence would not have made a difference.
"There's no regret, but it didn't work out in 10 minutes of the match today. The German team was fantastic," he said. "They probably could have done it with Neymar on the field as well.
"Let's not try to find an excuse. What happened is that Germany had a fantastic rhythm and defined the match. Germany made use of those moments and Neymar has nothing to do with that. He would not have made a difference to defend all of the goals. Germany would have done this regardless."
Brazil were also missing centre-back Thiago Silva, who was suspended after earning his second yellow card, leaving David Luiz to manage the back with Dante, who was making his debut at the tournament.
Luiz was left in tears after the match as he walked off the pitch.
"I am sorry we couldn't give the fans happiness," he said. "We didn't get it and I ask all of Brazil to forgive me. I only wanted to see all of Brazil smile. This was the most important match of my life."
Right-back Dani Alves was at a loss for solutions to Brazil's first-half problems.
"This has been like a nightmare you have about football," he said. "Never in football match has this ever happened to me. Theirs is a team very well put together, very complete in all zones. We lost the match in six minutes. In all of my 31 years I have never seen six minutes that cannot be explained as ours were."
Scolari said he tried to rally his players after the early setback, just as he will have to rally them to compete in the third-place match against the loser of Argentina and the Netherlands on Saturday.
"I did my job as I've always done it anywhere. I did what I thought was best," Scolari said. "It was a terrible defeat because of the result, but we tried to make it respectable. We all lost, but don't forget there's a match on Saturday, and we can still be third."
Scolari also took solace in the fact that many of his players will return for the 2018 World Cup, while implying Germany's players were nearing the edge of their careers.
"This team of Germany played the 2008 Euro and 2010 World Cup. Half of our team will play at the next World Cup," Scolari said. "We will see at least 13, 14, 15 players in 2018. It's our worst loss, but we have to learn how to deal with it."
It remains to be seen if Scolari will be retained to guide his players in Russia, though Scolari would not admit any regrets on Tuesday night.
"Regret what?" he asked. "I don't have any regrets for the choices I made, but I have to put up with the consequences."