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Germany and Brazil will meet for the first time in a world cup match since the 2002.
Surprisingly, given their status as heavyweight in the International arena and the fact that between then they have played in 24 semi-finals, Tuesday’s meeting will be only their second encounter on the biggest stage of them all.
When the two teams met in Yokohama twelve years, two goals from the original Ronaldo sealed a fifth world cup for the Brazilians.
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This time round they will meet in the last four with without their top scorer Neymar. The Barcelona forward suffered a cracked vertebra, ruling him out for the remainder of the competition as a result of a clumsy challenge from Colombia right-back Juan Camilo Zuniga during the 2-1 quarter-final win.
The forward has been in inspirational for his the hosts scoring four goals so far in the tournament and his absence is a massive blow for the Verde-Amarela.
Despite the absence of Neymar, Brazil’s stars of past and present have claimed that the national team will cope without their main man.
Shakhtar Donetsk forward Bernard told reporters “It’s natural to come across obstacles, it’s a World Cup. We are going to go into this game like we’ve already been going into games looking at the opponents and looking to overcome these barriers with Neymar’s injury. And we are going to believe until the end because we know that he have the qualities to be able to pass through to the final after this game against Germany and to be able to be champions.”
Meanwhile former international Kaka, backed up the claims of Bernard, going a step further by claiming the injury will inspire Phil Scolari’s side.
“Regarding Neymar’s injury, I am sad like everyone who loves football. It is a loss for Brazil and for the World Cup itself, a big loss,” Kaka said.
“Of course, Neymar’s absence is something negative for the Brazilian national team because of his technical skills and the difference he makes on the pitch, but hopefully Brazil can make of this an extra motivation for this World Cup semi-final.”
Neymar is not the only star missing with Thiago Silva suspended following his booking against Colombia while Willian has played down the knock he received in training Saturday and is set to play.
Germany meanwhile have been going about their business dispatching with old foes with a grudge along the way. The group stages clash with the world war two rivals USA was the start of a three game run that included Algeria, supposed victims of a collusion between Germany and Austria in 1982 and France, victims of their own when Harald Schumacher cynically took out Patrick Battiston only to remain on the field and save a crucial penalty.
All three challenges have been overcome resulting in a history making fourth successive last four appearance. The characteristics of the Germany of old still exist in the shape of big, strong footballer however the 2104 models can pass, retain possession and play attacking football.
The Germans have a number of players from the back up that can cause problems with quarter-final hero Mat Hummels along with Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose and Mario Goetze all match-winners.