After a World Cup filled with surprises, upsets and downright shockers, we have ended with a line-up of football powerhouses as semifinalists. 3 of the 4 teams in the semifinals are multiple winners at the game’s premier tournament. The other team – Netherlands are defending finalists and have been runner ups most number of times (3) among teams without a title.
The first semi-final features the hosts and football’s greatest team Brazil taking on Germany who hold the record for the most semifinal appearances (12) in the World Cup. Brazil, as most would have guessed, are a close second with 10 semifinal appearances. One of these teams is going to take sole possession of the record for the number of finalist appearances. Presently both teams are tied at 7 finalist results.
The injury to Neymar has sent Brazil into shockwaves. And with captain Thiago Silva suspended things don’t look great for Brazil against a well oiled and efficient German side. The Germans are a young vibrant side but they haven’t been at their best with most of their best players except Thomas Muller have been average.
Germany don’t have injury and suspension problems, and after 3 successive semifinals in the World Cup and good shows without the final laugh at the Euros, they would think this is their chance against a depleted Brazil side, who haven’t looked convincing either.
But I get the feeling Brazil will do just enough to go to the Maracana. I think buoyed by a partisan and ramptant home crowd Brazil will deliver a performance good enough to overcome Germany. I don’t anticipate a high scoring game, with the Germans very strong at the back with an impregnable goalkeeper, but a single goal can do all the difference.