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Scolari: This is my worst moment
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted he had experienced the worst day of his life after his side slumped to their worst-ever defeat at the hands of Germany in the World Cup semi-final.
Germany triumphed 7-1 on an evening of record-breaking in Belo Horizonte: the highest score in a World Cup semi-final, Brazil's biggest defeat after their 1920 6-0 loss to Uruguay, and a record 16th World Cup goal for Miroslav Klose.
Scolari said: "I think it's probably the worst moment of my life. I've lost other matches. When you lose 4-0 or 5-0, it's basically the same thing.
"Naturally, if I were to think of my life as a player, as a coach, as a teacher, this was the worst day of my life. But life goes on.
"I'll be remembered probably because I lost 7-1, the worst defeat Brazil have ever had, but that was a risk I knew I was running when I accepted this position. Life goes on. That's what I'll do."
Scolari admitted that the result was "catastrophic" for Brazil and said he took full responsibility.
He added: "Who is responsible when the team plays? Who is invited as the coach? Who is responsible for picking the team? I am. It's me.
"So the catastrophic result can be shared by the whole group. My players will tell you we will share our responsibilities. But who decided the tactics, I did. So the person responsible is me."
Germany coach Joachim Low believes Brazil cracked under the pressure of being hosts.
Low said: "Let's put it into context: the hosts were unable to deal with the pressure.
"We had a clear, persistent game-plan and if we were courageous and believed in our own strengths, we would win this match.
"That the result would be so emphatic was not to be expected. Scoring three in four minutes the hosts were in shock, confused, and never returned to their original organisation. We were extremely cool and realised they were cracking up, and we took advantage of that."
Low said Germany must turn their attention to Sunday's final, and that he understood what Brazil must now be going through.
He added: "We've won this match. We're in the final of the World Cup, against a different opponent. We were lucky that the hosts were shellshocked. Now we must prepare well for the final.
"I remember once losing to Italy in Germany when everyone wanted us to go to the final. We lost in the 119th minute back in 2006, so we knew how Scolari feels, how the Brazilian team feel, and the people in Brazil feel right now."
Two goals for Toni Kroos and Andre Schurrle, plus one each for Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira, and Klose's record-breaking strike saw Germany triumph in remarkable style, with Oscar's last-minute response the smallest of consolations.
Kroos, named man of the match, said the Germany team had not gone overboard in their celebrations and were still mindful that they have an even bigger challenge in store on Sunday.
Kroos said: "We are here to become world champions but no one becomes world champions in the semi-final and there is still and extremely difficult step - this was the feeling in a dressing room.
"Sure, when do you win a World Cup semi-final 7-1... but we still have one more match to go.
"We have to deliver another absolutely top performance otherwise we will lose the final - and I am convinced we will win."
Scolari said that Brazil now had to concentrate on recovering from pride in the third-place play-off in Brasilia on Saturday.
He said: "The atmosphere in the changing was terrible. Obviously. But what can you do? We'll have to change things, our environment, when we go back to our base ahead of Saturday's match.
"No one expected that result and now we must work on the mind-set. We have to improve our motivation for the match on Saturday. We have to do our jobs, knowing that history goes on.
"Most of these players will continue to play in their high-level teams and will be capped again. Life goes on. It doesn't end with this defeat."
Scolari also rejected the suggestion that Neymar's serious injury, and the emotion created by his absence, had played a key part in the defeat.
"No, no, no. Let's not try to find an excuse in Neymar or the emotions of the anthem," he said.
"What happened was Germany imposed a fantastic rhythm on the game. They were able to score the goals to define the match. That diminished my team. Those six minutes of trouble, Germany made use of those moments.
"I don't think it would have been different with Neymar. He's a striker.
"Germany probably could have done that with Neymar in the side, also. He wouldn't have known how to defend those moves for the second, third, fourth and fifth goals."