Hyper-emotional Brazil was getting weird

Brazil's David Luiz and goalkeeper Julio Cesar hold the jersey of Neymar before the 2014 World Cup...

Brazil's David Luiz and goalkeeper Julio Cesar hold the jersey of Neymar before the 2014 World Cup semi-finals between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte July 8, 2014. (REUTERS/Eddie Keogh)

KURTIS LARSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:40 PM ET

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil -- The logical question here Tuesday night: Is Neymar dead?

After the Brazilian team showed up to the Estadio Mineirao wearing hats in support of their injured No. 10, Julio Cesar and David Luiz held Neymar's jersey together while the national anthems were sang.

For a side that assured local media here this week that they were looking forward without their star, constantly acting like one of the world's top players is no longer with us was a bit much.

"No, no, no," Brazilian manager Luis Felipe Scolari interrupted a reporter, who was asking about the team's mental state in Neymar's absence.

"Let's not try to find an excuse. What happened is something I told you: Germany imposed a fantastic rhythm and was able in two or three minutes to score the goals and impose the match."

Neymar suffered a fractured vertebra in a quarterfinal win over Colombia last week, a situation that left the entire country wondering who'd step up in his absence.

In a message to fans Tuesday, the 22-year-old said he was looking forward to being with his teammates after the final in Rio de Janerio Sunday -- something that obviously won't materialize following Brazil's 7-1 loss to Germany.

"He wouldn't have been able to defend those moves where Germany scored the third, fourth and fifth goal," Scolari said of Neymar. "Don't think there are any reasons to suppose that with Neymar the result would have been any different."

Maybe, but it certainly didn't help matters that his teammates seemingly felt empty.

INVISIBLE MAN

Even before Tuesday's match Brazilian fans everywhere were calling him the "Invisible Man."

Fred, the embattled Brazilian target man tasked with donning the No. 9, likely wishes he could slip into obscurity at this point.

Although he played well at last summer's Confederations Cup, Fred has become public enemy No. 1 in this South American land.

A Brazilian No. 9 scoring just one goal at a World Cup is unheard of.

It all came to a head here Tuesday night when the crowd inside the Mineirao had seen enough.

Following a plethora of turnovers, miscommunications and missed attempts by Fred, more than 55,000 fans began chanting "F--- you, Fred" on repeat.

It got so bad Brazilian bench boss Luiz Felipe Scolari decided to pull his target man in the 69th minute.

As he made his way off the pitch, the 30-year-old, who has a fantastic goal-scoring record in the Brazilian league, was drilled by a chorus of rage.

He shook Scolari's hand, and stepped down into the dugout, maybe never to be seen in a Brazil kit again -- something that's befitting of his nickname.

Don't be surprised if Brazilian newspapers post a picture of Fred's face on covers across the country with the headline: "Have You Seen This Man?"


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