What do they call it? Jogo bonito? The beautiful game? Well last night the well-past-it mother country lifted up her skirts and the truth made really rather unpleasant viewing.
When Germany tonked us 4-1 four years back, we could always point at Lampard's ghost goal and say 'Who knows?' When Holland hammered Spain in the first game here, the Spaniards could always point out that had David Silva stroked home a second then Spain might still be in with a shout of four out of four this weekend.
Brazil don't even have the tiniest wisp of solace in this defeat. Nada. As that great language mangler Glenn Hoddle might have put it "They've been left clutching at the final straws in the wind." (Why Glenn has such an awkward relationship with English is difficult to fathom although I'll hazard a guess that it's got something to do with poor behaviour in a previous life).
I really didn't want Brazil to win this tournament. Not cos I've got anything against the nation itself, or the way they've hosted the tournament in neglect of its poverty-stricken (hell, every nation does that when hosting a big tournament). Indeed the pre-match singing of their wonderfully preposterous operatic chorus of an anthem, the overwrought emotions the players have shown, notably when holding up the shirt of the one player capable of maintaining the national traditions of their football - all of this almost made me want them to go all the way.
No, it's only when they started to actually kick the ball, and their opponents, around the park that I actually realised I wanted them to lose. They've been bloody awful. Really bloody awful. Their journey to the semifinals seems like a work of fiction now, or a cruel delusion that a fine German side took 29 minutes to shatter. The team looked like a happy drunk who woke up in a ditch to find he was being pissed on from a great height.
So, good, a crap team have not won the World Cup. But it's a terrible shame that that team should have carried the name Brazil. There's a poetry to those great names from the past: Zagalo, Garrincha, Vava, Pele, Jairzinho, Rivelino, Socrates, Eder, Zico, Falcao, Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho... This lot have been personified by Hulk, Fred and Jo - lumpen, blokey names you'd give to the regulars down a local pub in Doncaster. Except them boozers might have played better.
I know German supporters who started to look away, who couldn't even begin to gloat, as Khedira rolled in the fifth. Every time they started to enjoy it, the camera would cut away to another crying child, looking for all the world like a promotional campaign for the NSPCC, and all the triumphant Germans could feel was guilt.
But hey, you can only beat what's put in front of you - or in the case of the Brazilian defence, some way behind you - and Germany did it with class and elegance. I know there are commentators still encumbered by watching too many war films who saw their performance last night as 'clinical' and 'ruthless'. Shut up, now. It was utterly beautifully brilliant was what it was.
Of course, as many suspected, the biggest miss was Thiago Silva, not least cos when consigned to the stand with a ridiculous, if sincere, baseball cap on his head he looked less like the second best central defender in the tournament and more like an over-sized kid on a jolly at Disneyworld Florida.
Juninho, and by the way little man it was never this bad at the Riverside, said there may be some out there who will never wear a Brazilian shirt again. Well here's a list, mate:
Julio Cesar (he came, he swore, he got conquered);
Maicon (he sounds like an enemy of Dan Dare, plays like a friend of Dandini);
Marcelo - a joke of a player, like somehting created by Pixar - diving, whining and easier to avoid than Bulgarian jazz-funk. Hopeless;
Paulinho - the epitome of what a Brazilian midfielder has become, pedestrian, clumsy, witless;
Fred - Here's what he's good at [ ] He's the worst Brazilian I've seen since the wife took up a two for one offer with her sister fro a beauty parlour that shall remain nameless in Stockton-on-Tees. I thought that rash'd never clear up.
Hulk - big, strong, shit.
Jo - No!
I don't much for Dani Alves either. And as for David Luiz, well he's a conundrum isn't he? Great passer, great passion, great free kicks, but Great Scott what is the bloke doing halfway up the pitch when the Germans have just gone 4-0 up?
So how do Brazil proceed from here on in? Look at your opponents - promote the next generation as soon as possible, retain Neymar - who I'm beginning to think broke his back because of the strain of carrying the rest of the team around the country for five games - and keep em together until they can ally their flair with a calm game-playing authority.
Because for all that Brazil were pants, Germany were faultless for 90 minutes - and Neuer was furious that Oscar nabbed a late consolation in the 91st minute (I say 'consolation' but given that Oscar was inconsolable afterwards that's completely the wrong word).
They have the best keeper, right-back, centre-half, centre-midfielder and roving false number 9-cum-winger in the tournament. And that's a conservative estimate. Clearly they are favourites for the final but who might they have to beat on Sunday?
One carefully aimed De Jong patella in the small of one Lionel Messi's back might be all it takes for Holland to win. It's certainly going to be a much tighter affair, with both teams thriving off good defensive organisation. Word is that Van Persie has gut-rot which means that the Dutch might be over-reliant on the tripping slaphead trickster, Robben. And that might be enough.
So I'm going for an Argentina win, somehow. 1-0. After a bit of a grind for the neutral. A proper semifinal in other words. With two evenly-matched teams. As they say in Brazil it will be a case of the 'Jogo Feia'. (I think).
And yes, Germany to win the final, whoever makes it. And for once I won't be remotely unhappy about it.