BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil - Brazil's stunned football stars struggled to explain one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history after they lost their semi-final 7-1 to Germany on Tuesday.
"It is difficult to explain the inexplicable," said 34-year-old goalkeeper Julio Cesar after the record defeat.
"We had the worst game of our lives and Germany the best of their lives," added stand-in captain David Luiz who was at the centre of the defence that crumbled.
"Until now everything had gone very well. We had been very strong. It is so unexpected," said Cesar.
"Now we need to return home and be comforted by our families." After Thomas Mueller's 11th minute opener, Germany sealed their passage to an eighth World Cup final with a stunning four-goal spree in six minutes just before the half hour mark.
Miroslav Klose became the World Cup's all-time leading scorer with his side's second of the evening. Sami Khedira and two apiece from Toni Kroos and Andre Scherrle made it 7-0 before Oscar's late consolation.
"I am sorry for not being able to make the fans happy. We didn't win it and I ask for the forgiveness of all the Brazilian people," said Luiz, who took over the captain's armband from the suspended Thiago Silva.
"They were better and we conceded four goals in six minutes. It is a day of great sadness." The Paris Saint-Germain defender was one of the main culprits as the Brazilian defence crumbled in the absence of regular captain Thiago Silva through suspension.
It was misfiring striker Fred who received the brunt of the criticism for the shocked Brazilian fans at the Estadio Mineirao, though, as he was roundly booed before being replaced 21 minutes from time.
"It is a huge disappointment because it's certainly the worst defeat of all our careers," said Fred.
"It is a moment of great sadness and disappointment, but we'll have to hold on to the people who will help us in these difficult times we are going through now," he added.
Barcelona right-back Dani Alves was only able to watch on from the bench as he was dropped for the second consecutive game in favour of Roma's Maicon.
And he said he had never seen a team collapse like Brazil did for those six minutes midway through the first-half.
"It has been one of those nightmares that can happen in football.
"This has never happened to me in a game of football. That a team so well-organised, so complete in every area can lose four goals in six minutes. In my 31 years I have never seen six minutes so without explanation."