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Germany’s elated players have united in calls for renewed focus ahead of Sunday’s final, with the squad determined a decade of preparation will yield a fourth World Cup.
Joachim Löw’s team inflicted Brazil’s joint-heaviest ever defeat in Tuesday’s 7-1 drubbing, with five goals plundered in 18 frantic first-half minutes. But both the manager and the man of the match, Toni Kroos, stressed in the immediate aftermath that the nature of the victory means little in the context of what will be the national team’s eighth World Cup final. Those sentiments were echoed by team-mates as they mulled over their victory and prepared for the Maracanã, with the determination to claim a first major trophy since Euro 96 all too clear.
Thomas Müller, the Bayern Munich forward, admitted Brazil had offered “far more space than more defensively-minded teams would have done”, with the Germans recognising they will not benefit from such generosity again. “Winning the semi doesn’t give us anything,” said the Borussia Dortmund centre-half, Mats Hummels. “The win over Brazil does not have any impact on the final on Sunday because it will be a totally different game. It was nice how it went in Belo Horizonte, but it will be no problem keeping our feet on the ground.
“We know how hard it will be in the final. It will be a hard fight and the only chance we have of winning is if we know and accept that from the start. In the dressing room at half-time and after the match we just made it clear that we had to stay focused and not get carried away with this. We said we had to stay serious and concentrate.
“We know we are one of the best teams in the world but you always need a bit of luck, and on Tuesday we had that luck. But if we now lose the final, this semi-final will not be worth anything.”
The goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, added: “It’s very important for us to keep calm. We must not start thinking we can beat every team in the world easily, especially as the next game is the final when we will come up against one of the best teams in the world. We have to start again. We need to work hard and remember that it is not important what we did in the semi-final.”
Germany will end this tournament ranked No1 in the world by Fifa regardless of the result, with the seeds of the team’s recent progress – this was a fifth major tournament in succession where they have reached the semi-final or beyond – sown in the wake of their disastrous Euro 2000 campaign. Die Mannschaft were eliminated in the group stage that year, a failure that instigated a major revamp of the nation’s academy system.
Can't believe this ends on Sunday. And the DFL Supercup is a whole month away. Anyway I was really bored so I came up with a proper list of titles (not in order except for first four) for Die Mannschaft. They are:
What do you think, ONTD_Football? Can you come up with a better list, more worthy players? Comment (and pic spam) below!