It’s hard to explain what happened in the Estadio Mineirao of Belo Horizonte on Tuesday 8th July. One thing is certain, the date, the match and the result will go down in history as one of the most shocking and surreal moments in world Football. 2014 was supposed to be the year the Brazilian national team finally overcame the ghost of the Maracanazo, the defeat to Uruguay in the decisive match of the 1950 World Cup. Instead, 2014 will  be remembered as the Mineirazo. The defeat was the heaviest in the history of the Brazilian national team and was the heaviest in the history of a World Cup semi-final.

Furthermore, Brazil were unbeaten at home in 42 matches, their last defeat coming 12 years ago, in 2002 against Paraguay.

The semi-final against Germany started with the spectacular a cappella version of Brazil’s national anthem sung by the entire stadium, the German players alone in the middle of the pitch witnessing the sea of yellow on the stands, 11 men against the 60,000 present. An incredible image that could and probably would have intimidated anybody. So where and how did all go so wrong for Brazil?

Brazil had been far from impressive throughout the tournament, in their opening game against Croatia they looked a nervous team, lacking in confidence. That image continued up until the quarter-final against Colombia, where the spirit of the team seemed to finally shine through, there seemed to be a belief in the side against their South American rivals.

Unfortunately, Colombia also proved to be a fateful game for Scolari’s men, they lost their only two real hopes. Thiago Silva, their leader and the best centre back in the world was ruled out through suspension for picking up a second yellow in the tournament. Neymar, not an out and out superstar yet, but certainly the symbol of hope for the Brazilian people, and the national team’s only true attacking threat, was the victim of a reckless tackle and ruled out for the rest of the tournament.

The Selecao seemed scared throughout the competition, there was a sense that the pressure was too much for the team. After overcoming Chile on penalties in the second round, Julio Cesar’s tears spoke volumes of the pressure he and the rest of the team were under. Perhaps that pressure was also born from the fact that this Brazilian team was not up to par and lacked the quality necessary to win a tournament like the World Cup.

Perhaps the players themselves were aware of this, making every hurdle that much more difficult to overcome.

All the fear and pressure that had built up inside each and every one of the Selecao’s players came pouring out against the German machine. The only way for an inferior team to overcome a superior opponent is to defend, Costa Rica’s performances at the tournament the prime example of this. Last night Brazil forgot the meaning of defence. David Luiz was handed the torch and asked to lead, he followed the ball, forgetting the threat of nine World Cup goals in Thomas Muller behind him, and Germany were 1-0 up inside 13 minutes. Despite the early blow, the crowd remained buoyant, and Brazil poured forward with David Luiz leading the way.

However, the new Paris Saint Germain centre back deserted his role as a centre back and with Dante alongside him dragged Brazil and its supporters down into a surreal inferno.

It took Germany 179 seconds to score their next three goals the first coming from Miroslav Klose, a goal that also saw the German overtake Ronaldo as the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer, and two from Tony Kroos. Sami Khedira made it 5-0 four minutes later. Andre Schurrle completed the humiliation in the second half with two goals and Manuel Neuer did everything he could to deny any joy of a goal for Brazil’s fans, all of which spent the second half booing their heroes. Felipe Scolari described the defeat as the worst day of his life and fans will certainly forget about the Maracanazo, but for all the wrong reasons.

The World Cup started surrounded by questions and protests about the government spending on the tournament, but once the Selecao took to the field all appeared to be forgotten. It ended with tears and boos after the worst defeat in Brazil’s history, now more than ever, the party is over.