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Where does Brazil’s crushing defeat rank in all-time World Cup shocks?

Jul 8, 2014, 8:32 PM EDT

(Getty Images) Getty Images

Brazil 1-7 Germany.

Let that result sink in for a moment. Yeah, Brazil 1-7 Germany. In a World Cup semifinal. In front of the home fans in the host nation Brazil.

Okay, have you grasped the monumental nature of this yet?

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It’s quite difficult to put this display from Germany into context. It is quite simply one of the most incredible results in World Cup history and a game that is destined for the history books as five-time world champions Brazil suffered their worst-ever defeat.

To try and put this result in its rightful place among the World Cups most shocking defeats, lets take a look back at these moments from years gone by to see where it should rank.

Germany beats Brazil 7-1 | How Brazil fell apart | Scolari takes blame | Luiz apologizes

Use the comments section below to discuss where Germany’s incredible win should slot in. Right now it seems like, and probably is given the enormity and importance of the match, the most shocking result in World Cup history.

USA 1 England 0, 1950

This is by far the most humiliating defeat in England’s World Cup history. The English were the favorites to win the entire tournament but found themselves 1-0 down in the 37th minute and they never recovered. Joe Gaetjens scored the game-winner for the U.S. and English soccer fans have had to live with this shock ever since.
North Korea 1 Italy 0, 1966
Going into this match it was a case of how many would Italy win by. At the end, it was a case of hanging their heads in shame as the Italians were beaten by Asian minnows North Korea. Pak Doo Ik scored the winner and the Italians were in shock.

Scotland 3 Holland 2, 1978

The Dutch made it to the World Cup final but lost to hosts Argentina. There’s no shame in that. However with the likes of Johan Neeskens in their prime and ‘total football’ in its pomp, there was certainly some shame in losing to Scotland. Archie Gemmill’s famous goal spurred the Scots on to win an epic clash 3-2 after everyone expected the Dutch to wipe the floor with their opponents.

Cameroon 1 Argentina 0, 1990

In just their second World Cup tournament Cameroon stunned the reigning champions Argentina in the opening match of Italia ’90. Reduced to nine-men after two red cards, the African nation looked doomed but Omam-Biyik headed home the winner as the “Indomitable Lions” made it all the way to the quarterfinals.

Republic of Ireland 1 Italy 0, 1994

Jack Charlton’s Ireland weren’t pretty to watch. Not at all. In Giants stadium the Irish stunned the runners up from 1990, Italy, as Ray Houghton’s looping effort gave the Republic of Ireland and unlikely win that they rode to reach the last 16. Somehow Ireland managed to keep Roberto Baggio and co. off the scoresheet as they produce a stunning win.

Spain 1 Netherlands 5, 2014

The depending champions were humbled in their opening group game. Humiliated, in fact. In a replay of the 2010 final, the Dutch used up all their pent up anger over the last four years to rip Spain apart. Robin can Persie and Arjen Robben both scored twice and Iker Casillas and Spain’s defense had a nightmare. They never recovered and crashed out at the group stage. Huge shock.

France 0 Senegal 1, 2002

It is hard to forget this one. France’s swaggering stars waltzed into Seoul for the opening game of the 2002 World Cup as the reigning champions… they then skulked out of the stadium with their tails between their legs as Senegal shocked the world. The reining World and European champions lost out after Papa Bouba Diop’s strike (cue the awesome dance around the corner flag celebrations) and they defended bravely to keep the French at bay. Incredible stuff.

  1. matt14gg - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Joe Gaetjens?

  2. crivasldnont - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    How about El Maracanazo? By far the biggest upset in Football history, until today.

    • sibertt - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      I was going to say the same thing.

    • lorenzo463 - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      You could kind of see Brazil’s loss today coming, granted not by this score. Brazil had looked vulnerable a few times going into today, and was without its two best players. Compare that to the lead up to El Maracanazo. Brazil beat Sweden 7-1 and Spain 6-1 in the final group. Uruguay tied Spain 2-2 and beat Sweden 3-2. All Brazil needed was a tie, and given the margin of their two previous wins, they must have been expecting an easy win. That’s a kind of shock factor that was not at play today.

      • wandmdave - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        I understand what you’re saying but lets be fair. Germany had not destroyed anyone either and no one would ever expect Brazil to loose by so many. It was still pretty shocking even if they weren’t confident of a victory going in.

      • twerkslikeMiley - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        They destroyed Portugal 4-0. Could have been bigger.

  3. simonkulberg - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    Considering that they were reigning champions, the Cameroon defeat of Argentina in 1990 and Senegal`s win over France in 2002 were probably more shocking. You`re always gonna get hammered by Germany if you expose yourself at the back like Brazil did, and if you don`t stop exposing yourself then the Germans are never going to stop and will go into double digits no matter who you are.
    The surprise is really that Brazil kept making mistake after mistake and played the entire game without any sort of defensive control of anything. It was like watching a group of strikers being forced together in a defense, and as if nobody had ever heard of a defensive line before. But realistically, Brazil has been waning now since 2002 and this just drove it home I think.

  4. godsholytrousers - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    Brazil were given false hope in last years Confederations Cup.

    FIFA’s Pets were let off the leash, and they got into a real dogfight with a BIG dog.

    FIFA’s Pets were neutered.

  5. lorenzo463 - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    First off, I think there is a big difference between a shock result in the group stage and a shock result in the elimination rounds. Italy’s group stage loss in 94, Argentina’s group stage loss in 90, and the Netherlands’ group stage loss in 78 all made this list, but in the long run, all three of those teams ended up finishing second in those respective tournaments. The losses were a big deal, but ended up not really making any difference to how the tournament played out. Today’s game made a bigger difference. So that is an argument in favor of today’s game as a bigger shock.

    Perceived quality of the “shock” winner is another factor. If you told someone that Germany won today without mentioning the score, they would not be shocked at all. This Germany team can play with anyone. Today’s game was only a shock because of the final score. Germany beat Brazil in the World Cup semis? Seems reasonable to me. From that perspective, you have to rank South Korea’s defeats of Italy and Spain in 2002 and Bulgaria’s defeat of Germany in 1994 (all knockout stage results) as bigger shocks than today’s result. (I’m sure there are others that I am missing).

    The real thing that sets this game apart is the score line. Would you have bet on Bulgaria to beat Germany in 1994? Probably not. Would you have bet on a 7-1 final score for today’s game? Probably not. If you had to make one of those bets, which one seams more reasonable? Probably Bulgaria beating Germany.

    Really, It’s hard to compare all of these things, which is why this is fun.

    I’m an Uruguay fan, so naturally I go with El Maraconazo. What sets El Maraconazo apart is the fact that Brazil had plowed through the championship group and only need the tie to win the tournament. Prior to the game, Uruguay tied Spain 2-2 and beat Sweden 3-2. Brazil beat Sweden 7-1 and Spain 6-1. Who on earth looks at those scores and thinks that Uruguay has a prayer? But it happened.

    (By the way, Germany, do those score lines look familiar? Don’t start sewing that fourth star on your shirts quite yet, there’s one more game to play. We may still get a huge shocker that will put today’s embarrassment in perspective.)

    • mikeevergreen - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      The biggest shock of 1994 was the Ireland-Italy game, but not the score. It was the fact that the Irish had a near-monopoly of the seats that day, it was a sea of Kelly green.

  6. lorenzo463 - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    Italy’s loss in 94, Argentina’s loss in 90, and Holland’s loss in ’78 were all in group play, and all three of those teams ended up in the final of the respective tournament. Shocking results, but in the end they didn’t have much effect on the tournament. The impact of this game on the tournament’s final result was much greater. But at the same time, I can’t call it a shock for this Germany team to beat anyone. 7-1 is a shock, but if you were betting on result, you would take Germany over Brazil in 2014 long before you would take Bulgaria over Germany in 1994 or South Korea over Italy or Spain in 2002.

  7. tmacoduola - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    Reblogged this on tmacoduola and commented:
    Where does Brazil’s crushing defeat rank in all-time World Cup shocks?

  8. patriotsdefense - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    USA 1 England 0, 1950

    You need to give the back story of why it was so shocking. England had many legends on the pitch and the US team was filled with a random bunch of pick-up game level talent. To call them amateur players would have been a massive and undeserved compliment. And they beat England on a ridiculously amazing goal. They were 500-1 odds. That is the definition of upset and it that took place in Brazil in Belo Horizonte.

    • mikeevergreen - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      That’s right. Yesterday’s game will always be the SECOND biggest upset in Belo Horizonte.

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