For the first time since their 7-1 humiliation by Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-finals, Brazil are set to face the Germans in an international friendly slated for Berlin on Tuesday
Interestingly, the South Americans have improved vastly in the last three years with hard-working coach Tite making the side less dependent on injured PSG and world costliest player, Neymar who will miss the Berlin showdown.
The Brazilians, who underlined their resurgence as the first team to qualify for the Russia 2018 World Cup, no doubt have an emotionally difficult match at hand facing the title holders, Germany.
The two sides last met in the 2014 semi-finals in Belo Horizonte with the Germans coasting to a stunning 7-1 triumph against a home team which collapsed under the heavy burden of expectations and the absence of star forward Neymar.
The game was Selecao’s worst ever defeat on home soil and at a World Cup tournament, but despite their massive improvement, that embarrassing result still haunts them, and taking on the Germans in the Berlin’s friendly will surely prove a tasking job.
Coach Tite has named the result “a ghost” in an interview with Kicker sports magazine, adding: “The wound is still open. This international in Berlin is also part of the healing process.
“When you suffer such a drubbing you don’t forget it. It is very instructive.
“It will be a difficult match in Berlin, a lot will be asked from us on the emotional side. The performance is important but I also want a good result.”
The disaster from 2014 cost Luiz Felipe Scolari the coaching job and Tite took over in 2016 once Scolari’s successor Carlos Dunga had to go as well.
The 56-year-old has managed to bring Brazil back on track and possibly even more important has made the team less dependent of Neymar who is out again with a foot fracture and could miss the World Cup in Russia if worse comes to worst.
Tite naturally wants Neymar to be fit again for Russia but at least the team is prepared if the Paris Saint-Germain forward doesn’t regain his fitness in time.
“We must have the strength to overcome adversities like this one,” Tite said.
Brazil are coming off a 3-0 victory at World Cup hosts Russia after which Tite said he wants a similarly dominant showing against the Germans.
“We will want to play football, to be competitive, mentally strong, and put an idea in play. We are looking to impose our way of playing,” Tite said.
The Barcelona midfield duo of Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho impressed in Moscow, with each man also scoring, and could cause the Germans trouble as well, just as Spain had in a 1-1 draw in Dusseldorf on Friday.
The Germans for their part have no illusions and speak highly of the Selecao. “I consider Brazil two levels better than in 2014,” said Germany midfielder Toni Kroos who struck twice four years ago. (dpa/NAN)