There isn't a detention long enough for those who produced Brazil's most insipid performances in World Cup history and the heaviest defeat in the country's history.

Five times has Brazil held the World Cup trophy aloft -- but this current generation does not come close in comparison to any of those that have been successful in years past.

Would it have been different had Brazil's star player Neymar been there?

Since the golden boy of Brazilian football was taken off on a stretcher during the quarterfinal win over Colombia, the country has been plunged into misery.

His back injury, suffered after a poor challenge by Colombia's Carlos Zuniga, didn't just damage his vertebrae -- it shattered the hopes and dreams of a nation consumed by the ideal of winning.

Every single waking moment has been spent discussing the absence of Neymar, the man who has scored 35 goals in 54 appearances.

His goals have propelled an average side to heights that it surely never would have reached without him.

But even his presence would only have delayed the inevitable, insisted Brazil's coach.

"This would have happened even with Neymar," said Scolari.

"If Neymar were in there, things would not have been much different. He is a striker, don't forget that.

"Germany was able to take control of the game early on. The result has nothing to do with the anthem, the emotions or Neymar.

"It wouldn't have mattered if Neymar was in the pitch. We're not going to make excuses for what happened."

Arguably it was the suspension of captain Thiago Silva that really sealed the host nation's fate.

One of the finest central defenders in the game, Silva has not only shielded his side's goal, he has provided the leadership that this team relies on.

For many of the players, the emotion of the occasion and the pressure that has gone with it have often appeared to leave them overwhelmed.

"The blame for this catastrophic result can be shared between us all, but the person who decided the lineup, the tactics, was me. It was my choice," Scolari, who led Brazil to glory in 2002, told reporters.

"We tried to do what we could, we did our best, but we came up against a great German team. We couldn't react to going behind.

"Not even the Germans can tell you how this happened, but it's because of their skills and you have to respect that.

"My message for the Brazilian people is this: Please excuse us for this performance. I'm sorry that we weren't able to get to the final -- and we're going to try to win the third-place match. We still have something to play for."

For Brazil, this World Cup was not just about victory -- it was about exorcizing the demons of 64 years ago, demons that have haunted a nation in a merciless fashion.