Brazil’s humbling at the hands of Germany has become the most tweeted-about sporting event in history.
Social networking giant Twitter said more than 35m tweets were sent during the World Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte.
Germany crushed the hosts Brazil 7-1 to book their place in the World Cup final, reducing thousands of Brazilian fans to tears and sending social media into meltdown.
The surge of Twitter posts smashed the previous record held by American football’s Super Bowl 48, which spawned nearly 25m tweets when it took place earlier this year.
Twitter users were clearly in a similarly rampant mood to the German team, with the record for the most tweets per minute also broken in the aftermath of the fifth goal, scored by Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira.
According to Twitter, that prompted a peak of 580,166 tweets per minute, almost 200,000 tweets per minute more than the previous record; which came during Brazil’s penalty shoot-out victory over Chile earlier in the tournament.
Facebook also reported a huge spike in traffic during the game, with the Mark Zuckerberg-founded site reporting more than 220m interactions sent during the game by 66m people — 16m of those based in Brazil alone.
Unsurprisingly, Germans were quick to take to social media to celebrate their country reaching the World Cup final, with former player and coach of the national team Jurgen Klinsmann calling the result a “huge piece of football history”.
Despite missing the game through injury, Neymar was the most talked about player on Facebook, with the social media site reporting that he received 10 times the attention of any of his team-mates who did play.
Brazil’s suspended captain Thiago Silva was the third-most discussed, showing fans knew the importance of the hosts’ missing players.
Brazil players Hulk and Dani Alves have both since taken to social media to apologise to fans for the result.
“Brazil has Neymar, Argentina has Messi, Portugal has Ronaldo but Germany has a team,” one widely retweeted comment said.
Former Brazil striker Pele led the way with a dignified compliment to Germany’s emphatic victory.
He wrote: “I always said that football is a box of surprises. Nobody in this world expected this result”, and added: “We’ll get the sixth title in Russia. Congratulations to Germany.”
A PhotoShopped image of the statue of Christ the Redeemer reworked as a jubilant German Chancellor Angela Merkel was emblematic of the joy in Germany yesterday, the day after the “win for eternity”, according to the popular Bild newspaper.
Back in Brazil, the tears started flowing before half time, and by the end of a shellacking in the World Cup semi-final, millions were in dazed, damp-eyed disbelief at the end of this €8bn national calamity.
The national team wasn’t just defeated by a powerful German team. It was routed in front of the entire world, humiliated at its own party. Young and old, Brazilians shared in the anguish of what many called a national disaster — the worst loss in their team’s storied World Cup history.
Valeria Mazure, a 67-year-old retired teacher drinking beer in Rio, said: “I’m feeling disappointed, sad, but more than anything I’m feeling embarrassed. It was embarrassing to watch.”
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted: “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.”
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