Surprisingly in the Brazil vs. Germany rivalry, the host of the 2014 World Cup has the lead in head-to-head. Germany is always a powerful, dangerous team, and as such, a favorite in any tournament, but especially in the daddy of them all.
On paper, Germany is stronger than Brazil this time around and more so after Neymar’s untimely injury, which will prevent him from playing against the Europeans in the semis, a game fit for a final. The talented 22-year-old superstar was kneed in the back by Colombian defender Juan Zuniga, effectively ending his run in the 2014 World Cup on Friday.
Even though Brazil and Germany are world superpowers in football — with eight titles between both nations — this is only the second time they are meeting at a World Cup. Germany was a runner-up to Brazil in 2002, after Ronaldo scored both goals in the 2-0 victory.
But Brazil vs. Germany has a long and illustrious history, with 21 matches played altogether. Brazil has a major lead with 12 wins against Germany’s mere four. The teams have tied five times.
There have been 63 goals scored throughout history and Brazil also has the edge there with 39 compared to 24 from Germany. Neymar’s absence will have a major impact on the host’s performance, and fans can only hope the team rallies with the support of La Torcida (Brazilian fans).
Before Neymar got brutally attacked, Brazil had failed to impress the experts. With a lack of unity and some help from the refs — especially in the quarterfinal against Colombia — the Verde Amarela hasn’t lost a game.
However, critics are quick to mention that Brazil has failed to win in a convincing manner. The clearest example was the round of 16 match against Chile, which went into extra time and was decided by a dramatic exchange of penalty kicks, during which the entire Brazilian nation stopped breathing.
Aside from the single World Cup match prior to 2014, Brazil has beaten Germany in two Confederation Cup. In the 1995 tournament, the South Americans won convincingly, 4-0, and in 2005 in Nuremberg, Germany, things were a bit tight with a 3-2 final score.
At the 2014 World Cup semifinal match, Brazil vs. Germany on Tuesday, the host and visiting Germans will have a very similar record, which makes predictions difficult. If not for Neymar’s absence, we would be watching a very competitive match. Both teams have scored 10 goals so far with two per game for each side.
Neymar or no-Neymar, this semi promises to be one dramatic game as Brazil continues the fight to erase the memory of the 1950 Maracanazo, when Uruguay stunned then host Brazil, taking the title. One last fact to close, Brazil has won three out of four penalty shootouts in previous World Cups, and Germany has never lost in that fashion.
[Images via FIFA.com]