The style of Brazil’s football, as much as their embarrassment at the hands of Germany, could decide the fate of coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, according to Gaizka Mendieta.
Scolari, already a World Cup winner with Brazil in 2002, will almost certainly stand aside when the tournament comes to a close, although Brazil still have to play the consolation play-off for third place against the losers of the other semi-final between Argentina and Holland.
“I don’t know if he’ll go but he’ll be criticised because of the way they’ve been playing,” said Mendieta, a Sony Team Ambassador for the World Cup. “People expected more in terms of the players they have. It’s been hugely disappointing.
“They had shown some character in the previous games but not really the flair we associate with Brazil, and without Neymar and Thiago Silva it was too difficult for them.”
Scolari described events in Belo Horizonte as “the worst day in my life”, although it wasn’t his first disappointment in international football. His success in guiding Brazil to their fifth World Cup triumph in Japan 12 years ago was followed by a shock defeat as manager of Euro 2004 hosts Portugal, beaten in the final by unfancied Greece.
Mendieta says Germany, in contrast, have everything in place to add to their tally of three World Cups. “The whole team have been consistent, the keeper is great and Thomas Muller of course is always a threat,” said Mendieta.
“But as you could see against Brazil, it’s hard to find one player. They have such a collective effort, they are such a team. I was asked before the game against Brazil if they lacked a goal poacher. Well, I think that has been answered in pretty emphatic fashion!”