Brazil awake from old nightmare
DEFENDER Thiago Silva believes Brazil restored some pride in the famous shirt after a 1-0 friendly win over Germany in Berlin allowed his team to put their 2014 World Cup mauling behind them.
Gabriel Jesus’ firsthalf goal at a soldout Olympic Stadium on Tuesday saw Brazil end Germany’s unbeaten run of 22 games – dating back to their Euro 2016 semifinal defeat by hosts France.
“It was a matter of pride, after all that has been written and said,” Silva said, who was suspended for the 7-1 rout in Belo Horizonte nearly four years ago.
“This jersey deserves a little more respect. That’s why I’m overjoyed about winning against a big opponent.”
The friendly victory gained a measure of revenge for fivetime world champions Brazil, whose coach Tite had admitted are still haunted by the thrashing in the semifinals of the last World Cup.
The 56 year old, nicknamed The Professor, said his side had learnt the lesson and showed cool heads in chilly Berlin.
“You media have spoken a lot about this (7-1) result, the reality is that it is over, we simply played well here and we won.
“We had no anger or hatred, you can’t play well with emotions like that. We weren’t trying to rebuild lost pride, we just wanted to put in a good performance,” Tite said.
“There are positive things to take from the game and the result but we made a few mistakes, we gave away some possession and we lacked some width in our game.”
Tite said he was pleased to see Brazil earn wins over Russia and now Germany in the last week without injured star forward Neymar.
“We are learning to play well without Neymar and that is part of our strength,” the Brazil boss said.
Defending world champions Germany are now winless in their last four games after draws against England, France and Spain.
“We have lost the game, but we can live with it as we have four or five points which we need to intensively work on,” Germany head coach Joachim Loew said.
“It was to be expected that Brazil, with their injured soul, played their best team and were highly motivated.
“It wasn’t our day. We made too many mistakes, which allowed Brazil to grow in strength and confidence. We had a few young players who will learn from this, but in addition, the body language was not right from some players.”
There was some relief for Loew after Germany captain Jerome Boateng twisted ankle ligaments and had to come off in the second half.
“I don’t think it’s so bad and that nothing is torn,” Loew said.
The Germany boss made seven changes to the team which started the 1-1 draw with Spain last Friday and included just two World Cup-winners.
Germany’s Toni Kroos felt some fringe players had blown their chance at a place in the World Cup squad. – AFP
HEAVEN SENT: Quality striker Gabriel Jesus.