Believe it or not when Germany crushed Brazil in the now historic 7-1 semifinal, things could have been much, much worse. According to reports, during halftime Germany agreed to hold back and not humiliate the host, who was obviously completely out of it.
The infamous match will go down in history as one of the worst defeats of a top team in the World Cup — or any other international tournament, for that matter. However, it could have been worse, save for the pledge Germany made to lay off the fallen Brazil, according to defender Mats Hummels.
In a report published in the Daily Mail, Hummels claims that his teammates made a concerted effort to slow things down, lest the match become a free for all. At that point, Germany led Brazil 5-0, after the Europeans scored all the goals in less than 20 minutes.
“We just made it clear that we had to stay focused and not try to humiliate them. You have to show the opponent respect and it was very important that we did this and didn’t try to show some magic or something like this.”
Hummels admitted that, despite the 7-1 defeat of Brazil, Germany attributes the large number of goals to luck. The Dorussia Dortmund player firmly believes that as good as his team is, karma was on their side on Tuesday.
“We know we are one of the best teams in the world, but you always need a bit of luck and for us it was a good day.”
Hummels didn’t play the last 45 minutes of the semifinal as a precaution, since he suffers from tendinitis to the knee. As one of Germany’s key defensive players, Hummels is doubtful for the big final against Argentina on Sunday.
Germany’s seven goals were the most in a semifinal in World Cup history. What makes this a historic match is that, at this stage in the tournament, the best teams are left and there haven’t been any instances in which a semifinalist has fallen as precipitously as Brazil did.
There have only been three other teams that have scored five goals in less than 20 minutes in World Cup history. Hungary vs. El Salvador (1982, 13 minutes), Poland vs. Haiti (1974, 18 minutes), and the record of them all, Austria vs. Switzerland in 1954 in nine minutes.
Three of the teams in the last four hold the record of most goals scored in a World Cup. Germany now leads with 223 goals scored, more than any other country. In second place is Brazil with 221 goals, and in third is Argentina with 131 goals scored.
When Brazil faces the Netherlands in the third place match, their goal should be to get the record for most goals scored back. Germany will no doubt try to continue to add to their lead, when they face Argentina in the final.
[Image via Twitter]