"It was like watching a car crash or something," Nelsen said of the Brazil's shock 7-1 loss to Germany in Tuesday's World Cup semifinal. "It was torturous.
"And I've never seen it in football. And we're not talking young players. We're talking some of the most expensive players in the world — (David) Luiz, Dante, Paulinho, Fernandinho. Maicon was one of the best right backs (in the world). You're talking world-class players."
Nelsen, who captained New Zealand at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and Toronto FC have followed the Brazilians with special interest given that Toronto goalie Julio Cesar is their No. 1. Cesar, who had played well the rest of the tournament, was basically abandoned by his defence in the semifinal.
"None of the fault should be put at Julio's feet," Nelsen said Wednesday.
Tuesday's humiliating loss had Nelsen thinking back to fans "who throws stones at some of our players."
"The biggest players make the same mistakes," he said. "They feel the pressures, they're humans. And so sometimes it's not nice but you can see that from a lower level to a higher level, everyone makes the same mistakes. It happens."
As a manager, Nelsen also saw an unbalanced Brazilian attack.
"You have to attack with a worst case scenario —not the best case but the worst case as well," he said. "Because every time Brazil attacked, every time they turned it over, it looked like it was going to be a goal for Germany. Their balance was wrong.
"And you can talk about it and all that but once it happens and then once the pressure's on, it's very tough to change. It was an amazing game, to tell you the truth. Nobody saw that coming."
Cesar was on loan to Toronto FC prior to the World Cup. He remains under contract to England's Queens Park Rangers.
Toronto says talks will be held with QPR after the World Cup. But when Cesar left for the tournament, the club all but said farewell to the well-liked Brazilian No. 1.