The Rio Report

The view from Europe: Can Brazil stop Germany without Neymar?

The Rio Report

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The first World Cup semi-final sees hosts Brazil meet Germany in a battle of two of the tournament's most decorated nations.

The only time they have met at a finals before was in the 2002 final when Brazil handily saw off the Germans to clinch a record fifth trophy under the man who returned to the helm for the 2014 edition, Luis Felipe Scolari.

This time around however, not even home advantage can make it seem like a straightforward task thanks to the injury of Neymar, the suspension of Thiago Silva and Joachim Loew's fine record at World Cups during his tenure German national coach.

We decided to ask our continental offices for a few words on Tuesday's big game. Do they think the South American dream will live on? Or is the German juggernaut a step too far for the home side?

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Liam Happe, British Eurosport

Germany remain the ‘matchplay kings’. Even if they still had Neymar, Brazil haven’t done enough to convince us they can outwit Loew and outperform the German players on the night. Der Mannschaft will encounter a true test in the final, but regardless of that result they’ll surely be there.

Maxime Dupuis, Eurosport France

I always think the same: Germany are Germany. And the fact they’ve lost a bit of their appeal of 2010 make them more dangerous than ever. The 'old Germany' is back. And a fourth star on their jersey is not very far away.

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Alessandro Brunetti, Eurosport Italy

Yes, obviously, Der Mannschaft are the most complete team, but… we think that the absence of Neymar and Thiago Silva could further motivate the Brazil side that does play.

Igor Zelenitsyn, Eurosport Russia

I am almost certain Germany will play in final. Brazil lost three guys after the quarter-finals, and even if they could manage it without Neymar and Thiago Silva, it would be hard to find a replacement for Velasco Carballo.

Piotr Kwiatkowski, Eurosport Poland

Germany are the biggest contenders, but German players find their biggest opposition in themselves. Fight your mental weakness and you'll win it. Above all Germany has Manuel Neuer - someone who can make the difference in the big moments of this kind of match.

Ignacio Ruiz, Eurosport Spain

Germany should be winners this year if the Netherlands allow it. Four semi-finals in a row proves their worth and it is time to demonstrate again Gary Lineker's famous quote: "Football is a simple game. 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win."

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