Wednesday Kickoff: Scolari accepts blame; Bayern introduce Lewandowski; and more

Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari looks dejected

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The sun rose this morning over Brazil, but last night’s shock result still doesn’t feel real.

Germany scored five goals in an 18-minute stretch midway through the first half, opening the floodgates on their way to a record-setting 7-1 victory over Brazil. Newspaper covers across the host nation are calling it the “embarrassment of all embarrassments” and a humiliation for all of Brazil. Following the match, manager Luis Felipe Scolari took the blame for the defeat.

“Who is responsible when the team plays?” Scolari told reporters, while also asking for forgiveness from the nation and to absolve Neymar and Thiago Silva from blame. “I am. It’s me. Who decided the tactics, I did. So the person responsible is me. 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. I’ll be remembered probably because I lost 7-1, the worst defeat Brazil have ever had.”

David Luiz, who captained Brazil in Silva’s absence, was inconsolable following the match and gave a number of tear-filled post-match interviews apologizing for the performance.

“Apologies to everybody, apologies to all the Brazilian people,” Luiz told reporters. “I just wanted to see my people smile. We all know how important it was for me to see all of Brazil be happy, at least because of football. (Germany) were better than us. They prepared better. They played better.

“It’s a very sad day but it’s also a day from which to learn.”

Here are some more stories to start off your Wednesday:

BAYERN INTRODUCE LEWANDOWSKI

After months of waiting, Robert Lewandowski is finally a Bayern Munich player.

Bayern officially introduced Lewandowski to the media on Wednesday, the start of the club’s pre-season training, and handed him the No. 9 jersey for the upcoming season. Lewandowski said that after four years with Borussia Dortmund, it was time for him to “take the next step.”

“I know that every new player needs time but I hope the transition won’t take long for me and that I’ll be able to give my best from the first game,” Lewandowski told reporters.

By giving Lewandowski the No. 9 shirt, it was a sign that Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic would be leaving the club.

“Nothing’s signed yet, but there are verbal agreements between FC Bayern and Atletico Madrid and between Mario and Atletico,” Sammer said at the press conference.

PSG, MAN UNITED BATTLE FOR DI MARIA

Argentine midfielder Angel Di Maria is beginning to look like the odd man out for Real Madrid.

Transfer speculation has only increased for the 26-year-old during the World Cup and Real Madrid haven’t said a word to stop it. According to reports in Italy, Paris Saint-Germain are getting into the transfer battle, and have offered Real Madrid €60 million for the transfer of Di Maria.

Di Maria to his credit has refused to touch the subject of his club future, but that will be decided as soon as the World Cup is over.

Manchester United and manager Louis Van Gaal meanwhile are “monitoring” the situation, according to reports in England, and Di Maria is high on Van Gaal’s wish list.

QUICK KICKS

Adidas have offered Manchester United a deal worth £60 million ($103 million) to become the club’s official kit supplier. (REPORT)

Swansea City forward Michu is expected to join Napoli on loan for the upcoming season. (REPORT)

Real Madrid have agreed a reported €22 million transfer bid from Juventus for forward Alvaro Morata. (REPORT)

Juventus have approached Man United over the transfer availability of Patrice Evra. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich are looking into the possibility of signing Costa Rican star goalkeeper Keylor Navas to back-up Manuel Neuer. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? How do you feel about Brazil’s 7-1 defeat the day after? Still shocking? Do you expect Lewandowski to flourish under Pep Guardiola? Do you believe PSG can afford to purchase Angel Di Maria?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, International Soccer, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Scolari accepts blame; Bayern introduce Lewandowski; and more

  1. blokhin says:

    “Well, we’re off the hook”- Brazil’s 1950 National Team

  2. Tru Dat says:

    Slideshow Bob was terrible yesterday. Good thing he is going to PSG and not Bayern.

    • Raymon says:

      On at least a couple of those goals Luiz was in the midfield! Did he forget that Silva wasnt there to watch his back? Did he forget he was actually a defender and not a midfielder? Almost like he wanted to be the poor man’s Neymar.

      BRA actually played a decent 10 minutes of this game (the first 5 minutes of each half). Then they quit defending. The amount of time and space on Germans 20 yards in front of their goal was criminal. The kind of stuff that 12 year olds get yelled at for. Those 11 players need to pay for their tickets, cause they were watching Germany play.

      Finally, what’s up with that series of hail mary lobs? What happened to establishing a rhythm and building an attack?

      • ben in el cajon says:

        I can only guess that Luis knew he had to make up for one of the missing players, and foolishly decided to replace Neymar instead of Silva.

        Oh, and Scolari knew his midfield was inferior to Germany’s, but was hoping that their back four were as slow as they had looked in the group games. No one told him about Lahm moving back to defense, perhaps.

    • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

      He really was a comedy farm. He isn’t a leader. A good teammate? Absolutely. A skilled player? Certainly. Most any team would feel fortunate to have him… he’ll rack up more silverware in his career and I think PSG will get decent enough value for him (not sure anything could ever justify that fee, but that’s up to them to evaluate).

      But he is reason #1 (among the guys on the field) why it all went to h*ll yesterday. They would’ve lost no matter what, but when they needed a leader on the field he didn’t even know what position he wanted to play. Much as I wanted to give him credit for stepping up to do an on-field interview, even that was ridiculous. Just get out dude. Fail. We’ve seen enough shots of Brazilians crying for one day.

  3. froboy says:

    Why the heck would Navas want to be a backup????

  4. sethiepoo says:

    His biggest mistake was not bringing Ronaldinho or Kaka. Two ballon d’or winners. One is old and the other is a little out of form. But at least the play like Brazilians…

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      His biggest mistake was not bringing more leaders. Brazil’s teams often suffer a lack of on-field leadership. Thiago Silva was one. Who else? David Luiz has the respect and affection of his teammates to fill that role, but who was going to do it on attack? Oscar? Bernard? Fred?

      • Raymon says:

        His biggest mistake was failing to invent a time machine to bring back Garrincha, Pele, Rivelino, Dunga and the 2002 versions of Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, and pre-fat Ronaldo.

    • slowleftarm says:

      The biggest problem is that Brazil doesn’t have players good enough to win the world cup right now. Seriously, even with Neymar and Silva is this Brazil team good enough to win a world cup? Brazil in 2002 had Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho. I don’t think Neymar is as good as any of those players. Guys like Fred or Hulk wouldn’t have even made that squad.

      Player for player, I think they’re easily the worst of the four semi-finalists in terms of the talent on their roster and also behind some of the teams that were eliminated earlier. Hopefully this will serve as a wakeup call for Brazilian football.

      Ronaldinho and Kaka? You think they could’ve stopped the German juggernaut yesterday? I sure don’t.

      • Matt C says:

        Agreeance.

      • sethiepoo says:

        You’re right. Ronaldinho and Kaka could not have stopped the German Juggernaut. But perhaps their presence could have kept David Luiz from trying to create through the middle so much and losing track of his marker. Nevertheless, I just never felt like I was watching Brazil. I miss the old days…

        • slowleftarm says:

          I don’t think Luiz lost track of Mueller because he was “creating through the middle.” Ronaldinho and Kaka were great players in their day but their best days are far behind them. I think we generally agree but the reason it didn’t feel like watching Brazil is because the current players aren’t up to the standards of Brazil teams of the past. I think it’s an issue of talent and ability, not one of style.

          • sethiepoo says:

            Which is really strange to me. What’s happened to the talent pool in Brazil? Neymar is good, but even he isn’t the caliber of Ronaldinho or Kaka, on their day. And what about strikers? Where are the Ronaldos and Romarios? Perhaps they only come once in a lifetime. It’s a real bummer though.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              Prior to ’94, I remember loads of people lamenting Brazil’s lack of real talent to compare with the glorious teams of the past.

              Then they won.

              And the narrative changed to how amazing Romario was and everybody else. And subsequent squads were compared to the greats of ’94.

              Then ’06 rolled around and Brazil had Kaka, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho—all the Great Ones people are mentioning here—plus a number of other superstars. And how’d they do?

              Anyway, I don’t buy for a second that Brazil lacks the talent necessary to win the World Cup—let alone on home soil.

              • sethiepoo says:

                So you’re saying that Neymar, Oscar, Willian, Hulk, and Marcelo are as good and fun to watch as Kaka, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, and Roberto Carlos? I’ll have some of whatever you’re smoking…

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                sethiepoo, it sounds like you’ve already been smoking plenty if that’s how poorly you misunderstood my comment.

              • sethiepoo says:

                Haha, well I am on pain meds right now… so it’s probably that! ;)

              • slowleftarm says:

                Disagree – Romario and Bebeto were big stars before the world cup. That Brazil team in 1994 was better than this one and that was by far the worst of Brazil’s world cup winning teams.

                Tactics alone didn’t cause a 7-1 loss yesterday or Brazil’s generally poor showing in this tournament. This team isn’t good enough. Neymar would have been a sub for the 2002 team.

              • sethiepoo says:

                Agreed. And to think that in 2002 Ronaldo was completely out of shape, yet he still lit up the tournament. Fred and Jo are a far, far cry…

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                slowleftarm: “Disagree”

                About what? That many questioned the talent of the ’94 squad? I was living in Brazil at the time; it was all anyone talked about.

                “Romario and Bebeto were big stars before the world cup.”

                As were Neymar, David Luiz, et al.

                “That Brazil team in 1994 was better than this one”

                Not my argument.

                “Tactics alone didn’t cause a 7-1 loss yesterday or Brazil’s generally poor showing in this tournament.”

                I agree. In fact, I started in this thread saying that Brazil’s greatest shortcoming was a lack of leadership, not talent. Tactics certainly hurt them though—or will we attribute Costa Rica’s success to exceptional talent alone?

                “This team isn’t good enough.”

                Obviously. What I said I doubted, however, is that “Brazil lacks the talent necessary to win the World Cup—let alone on home soil.” There’s much more to a team than the individual talent.

    • John says:

      Biggest mistake was no Miranda and Felipe Luiz from A. Madrid.

  5. Leo says:

    “Van Gaal will have the opportunity on Wednesday to see Di Maria up close and personal when the Netherlands take on Argentina in the World Cup semifinals.”
    Di Maria is injured. He will not play.

  6. Matt C says:

    From now on it shall be called a “German Waxing Procedure”.

  7. cformusic says:

    Scolari’s rigidity and lack of innovation was always gonna catch up with this team..no they weren’t the greatest version of Brazil, but by most measures they were the 2nd best team on paper coming into this tournament..

    2 biggest mistakes: not using Willian in the midfield instead of Bernard..persisting with the ineffective Hulk-Fred combo..should’ve chose 1 of those 2 to lead the line and play Willian on the the right..oh well

    • USAEVERTON1 says:

      What has Willian done to show he is able? His time at Chelsea thus far has been one of dribbling the ball incessantly across the top of the box, failing to play in to the striker (whichever one), and then either losing the ball or making a 10 foot pass to Oscar. That kind of brilliance, Brazil already had out there and Marcelo and Oscar and Hulk were diving so he wasn’t needed for that either.

    • Brain Guy says:

      I find the practice of using the one-name designations annoying and a bit contrived, but I will say that the decidedly uninspiring sound of the combination of Fred and Hulk should have been a clear indication that this Brazil team lacked the style of its forebears. Kind of underwhelming, like the Scottish wizard in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” whom you expect to have some crazy, mystical name but then says, “There are those who call me . . . Tim?”

  8. Rowsdower says:

    Anything about Xavi to NYFC?

    • slowleftarm says:

      David Villa has plenty left but Xavi is done. MLS 1.0 publicity stunt signing unfortunately.

  9. Duke says:

    Contrast his response to JK who basically threw the team under the bus.

  10. bryan says:

    that’s a pretty great transfer for Di Maria, but i’m surprised given Juve’s interest in Di Maria and willingness to trade for Pogba + cash for him. it’s especially strange now that Juve has bought Morata (bummer). i guess Real Madrid figures they want James and will get as much money as they can in order to buy him. €22M for Morata plus €60M for Di Maria would give them enough to meet the €70M-€80M figures being thrown around.

  11. inagine money says:

    Navas as a back up at Munich? No friggin way. He was best keeper at a small club in La Liga and had a terrific WC. Dude is going to a Big Club to start not to rest

  12. inagine money says:

    Btw whats with Michu? Swansea gets Bony and suddenly thy dump Michu? A year ago he was close to a Spain NT call-up

  13. lore says:

    Lewandowski is the best striker in the world not named

    Suarez, Ibrahimovic. Far better than.Mario Gomez/ Mandzukic

  14. MiamiAl says:

    Thank you Brazil!- Luis Suarez

  15. Angelo says:

    Scolari and Brazilian coaches are just not very good. Scolari is to blame 100 percent because his talent level on his team is way better than the US National team with starters at Chelsea, Liverpool etc and they played worse than a USL team.

  16. Tiny says:

    realistically robinho, kaka, lucas, or even coutinho could have helped as opposed to fred, oscar, hulk, bernard, hernanes, and all of their bench