With soccer powerhouses Brazil and Germany set to square off on Tuesday, German head coach Joachim Low isn’t messing around.
After Brazil lost both attacker Neymar and captain Thiago Silva for the clash, many have Germany as the favorites to advance and break the host nations’ heart.
Speaking to reporters after guiding Germany to a record fourth-straight World Cup semi, Low talked about the Samba flair evaporating from Brazil’s game and their tough-tackling displays being handled correctly by officials.
“They’re playing more robustly than any other team here,” Low said. “There’s little left of that traditional Brazilian style of football. At the end of the day, it’s up to the referee to come up with the correct punishment.”
Low has a point. Brazil’s attacking unit have failed to click into place. Apart from Neymar’s four goals, the Selecao’s other six attackers have two goals between them through five games.
Luis Felipe Scolari’s side have also picked up 10 yellows cards and committed 96 fouls, as their aggressive displays are far from what you’d expect from the five-time World champions.
It has been a case of Industry over ingenuity for Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.
Saying that, Germany’s industry (as always) has been their main strength as they’ve ground out three tight one-goal wins and battled to a tie after their opening game demolition of Portugal. Low’s own offense has failed to fire recently and although certain flashes of magic in and round the box returned in their quarterfinal win over France, it still wasn’t as fluid as we expect from Das Mannschaft.
With flair missing for both Germany and Brazil, expect a rambunctious and scrappy game in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday. That said, most World Cup semifinals aren’t classics. Given the fact that a place in the final is on the line, nerves often take over. Being robust and solid as a rock should be the order of the day for these giants of world soccer. Who can hold their nerve best?