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Travel

Last Night in Rio Was Massively Depressing

Brazil's humiliating loss to Germany in yesterday's World Cup semi-finals prompted fears of riots, but last night the locals in Rio were mostly just sad and drunk in the rain.
July 9, 2014, 9:24am

These guys consoled each other the only way they know how.

Yesterday, the biggest game of the biggest sporting tournament on the planet was played in Brazil. Fought between the hosts and Germany in Belo Horizonte, the World Cup semi-final will inevitably cast a bigger shadow than anything that preceded it and the final itself, and it did not go as coach Luiz Felipe Scolari—or anyone—had planned. Had Brazil won, this morning we'd probably be lauding a team that had built up an unstoppable momentum on its way to a sixth World Cup victory. Instead, this latest incarnation of Seleção ended up battered by their opponents, mocked by their fans, and eviscerated by their journalists.

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The German performance was one of brilliant cruelty; four goals in six hallucinogenic first-half minutes put them one goal shy of what the United States scored in the entire tournament. But while Americans have already largely forgotten that we had a World Cup team, what happened to the Brazilians will be etched into the psyche of the nation for decades. Before last night, this was a nation still haunted by a World Cup final lost to Uruguay on home turf in 1950. Now, a new generation of Brazilians have their own ghosts to exorcize.

Aside from the absent Thiago Silva and Neymar, the only Brazilian players to come out of the game with even a slither of credit were the stranded goalkeeper, Julio Cesar, the scorer, Oscar, and the center-half Dante. The latter deserves a sympathy pass only because his partner was so totally inept. After this summer's $85.5 million move to Paris St. German, David Luiz is the most expensive defender of all time, and last night he cost his national side dearly, putting in a performance that will deservedly be held up for decades as a disasterclass of decapitated anti-defense.

Anyway, as the Brazilian squad and their management wept and weighed up the relative merits of different hideouts, we asked photographer Mattias Maxx to go out onto the streets of Rio to capture the mood of the city. There'd been reports of violence earlier in the day, of gunfire, robbery, and brawling at the official FIFA fan park on Copacabana beach, but in the end the social discontent that has rumbled away throughout this tournament did not rear its head.

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This morning, many Brazilians woke up still feeling angry at FIFA for robbing their country blind. But last night, as the planet wondered whether or not the country would catch fire, the locals were mostly just sad and drunk in the rain. So long, jogo bonito.

—VICE Staff

Click through for more photos.

A fan tries to evade the downpour outside a fast-food shop.

A Brazil fan tries to flee the scene outside the Copacabana Palace hotel.

A Brazil fan dances in the rain.

Reports indicate that the police had a surprisingly quiet night.

Pissed-off fans piss against a World Cup boarding.

Brazil fans staring into space

Brazil fans console each other.

Smug German fans in Rio.

There were a lot of empty bottles as Germans toasted their success and Brazilians drowned their sorrows.

Some Germans thrusting their victory in the face of a Brazilian, who didn't seem too impressed.

Argentines were happy too. They celebrated the Germans' success—or, rather, Brazil's failure—with pizza.

This guy was pretty confused as to how his heroes failed so badly.

Workers clearing trash off Copacabana beach

Brazilian left-back Marcelo in an "All or Nothing" Adidas ad

A Brazilian fan stranded in the rain

Guns were reportedly fired by a gang carrying out a "mass robbery" on a bar at a fan park