BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari apologized to fans for failing to lead the host to the World Cup final, saying the "catastrophic" defeat to Germany on Tuesday marked the "worst day" of his professional life.
"I have to apologize for the negative result, for not being able to reach the final as we all wanted," Scolari said, speaking calmly after the humiliating 7-1 loss.
Scolari took full responsibility for the drubbing, and said he knows that it's very likely that his career may be defined by what happened at the Mineirao Stadium — even though he also led Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title.
"Naturally, if I think about my life as a player and as a coach, I think this was the worst day of my life," Scolari said. "I know I'll probably be remembered for losing 7-1 to Germany, for Brazil's worst loss. But it was a risk I knew I was taking. I have to take responsibility for it. Life must go on for everybody."
The coach said he has to find a way to learn from the "catastrophic loss" in front of the home crowd. He said there are "no excuses" for what happened, not even the absence of star striker Neymar, who was ruled out of the tournament because of a fractured vertebra sustained late in the match against Colombia in the quarterfinals.
"They (Germany) probably would have done it with Neymar playing," Scolari said. "I don't think there's any reason for us to suppose that with Neymar it would have been different."
He said the "very high quality" of Germany was the reason for Brazil's disappointing elimination at the home tournament.
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