Brazil press calls for football rebirth
Brazilian newspapers sought answers Wednesday for the national football team's disastrous World Cup exit, blaming the coach for the "humiliation" and calling for the country's beloved sport to be "reborn."
The daily O Globo ran the headline "Embarrassment, Shame, Humiliation" with a picture of team captain David Luiz on his knees with his face down on the pitch.
The newspaper's sports page gave every player a zero rating following the 7-1 loss to Germany, the worst in the team's 100-year history.
The national media declared that Tuesday's loss at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte eclipsed the trauma felt by Brazil when it lost in the trophy deciding match to Uruguay at home in 1950.
Globo columnist Fernando Calazans said it was "a much bigger tragedy" and asked whether football officials were too focused on bringing up the toughest defenders and powerful forwards instead of the best strikers and playmakers.
"Brazilian football has only one solution: to resuscitate," he wrote. "Brazilian football has to be born again. It has to be reborn."
"Humiliation At Home," wrote O Estado de Sao Paulo, stating that the defeat had "left the country perplexed."
Folha de Sao Paulo ran a picture of the dark sky and the Mineirao's floodlights, with the jumbo screen flashing the score at the bottom.
"While the 2-1 loss to Uruguay in 1950 had tragic circumstances, the 2014 elimination was marked by humiliation," Folha said, saying ex-players and coaches called for a "reformulation" of national football.
The tabloid Meia Hora ran a dark front page saying "Nao Vai Ter Capa" (There Won't Be A Cover), a play on words on the rallying cry of anti-tournament protestors who chant "Nao Vai Ter Copa" (There won't be a cup).
The sports daily Lance ran a nearly blank front page inviting readers to send pictures representing how they feel.
At the bottom, the newspaper wrote the words "indignation, upheaval, pain, frustration, irritation, shame, sadness. Tells us what your feeling and do the Lance cover yourself."
Former player Juninho Paulista, a member of the 2002 World Cup winning squad, said the defeat was an "alarm signal for Brazilian football."
"Prioritising physical force from the lowest levels has limited our players and we forgot what's best about Brazil: the midfielder who can create," he wrote in Lance.
The daily O Dia vented its fury at coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
"Go To Hell Felipao," the newspaper said along with a photo splash of the manager holding up seven fingers during the game.
"He was responsible for the worst humiliation of the national team in its century-old history," it said, noting that Scolari had once said that those who don't like his style can "go to hell."