1) Fred should not be the fall guy
An image of Fred flashed on the big screen towards the end of Brazil's astonishing 7-1 defeat, prompting vicious jeers from the home fans. Although he was anonymous – his contribution stretched little further than taking a spree of kick-offs – it was not failings in attack that led to Brazil’s elimination. What purpose did the vitriolic abuse serve and would it not have been better aimed at the defensive quartet?
For all his limitations, Fred deservedly earned his place in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s squad after impressing in their Confederations Cup triumph last summer. His goal drought placed even more pressure on poster boy Neymar but, ultimately, his inability to ripple the net was not the reason the host nation are playing for third spot. Brazil need to unearth another striker quickly because it’s highly doubtful that he will ever recover from the fans’ negative reaction.
2) Perennial bridesmaid Khedira shines bright
Sami Khedira is a fine footballer but always appear to be cast the role of understudy – whether that be at Real Madrid or Germany, or to coin Eric Cantona’s turn of phrase, a water carrier. Well, his performance against Brazil went against that grain. He was imperious. He led Germany to that victory and it they go on to win the World Cup his contribution must be recognised.
3) It is fitting Klose incredible achievement has gone under the radar
Miroslav Klose is a poacher extraordinaire. That is why it is fitting that the achievement of becoming the leading goalscorer in World Cup history has gone somewhat under the radar in the wake of Germany’s annihilation of Brazil. It is almost poetic. He has snuck up on defences to stab home close range finishes for over a decade and now he has snuck up on Ronaldo and stolen his crown.
4) David Luiz is not worth £50 million
Somewhere in the French capital, you can bet the Paris Saint-Germain directors are desperately rustling through their files trying to hunt down their receipt for David Luiz’s big-money move from Chelsea. Of course he will impress for PSG at times, but his catalogue of rash decisions against Germany served to highlight that he is not cut-out for the greatest stage.
Luiz is a dead-ball specialist and exceptional on the ball, but his inability to hold position makes him an absolute liability. Expect each wonder goal for PSG to be cancelled out by an inexcusable howler, as he renders the Ligue 1 giants' investment futile.
5) Neuer is one game away from joining Germany's great goalkeepers
Brazil poured forward at the start of the second-half, desperately seeking an early consolation to suppress the boos. Ramires, Oscar and Paulinho all popped up inside the penalty area but, just as it looked as though a muted celebration was imminent, Manuel Neuer stuck out a paw to deny them the faintest of hopes.
Neuer now stands one influential performance away from being mentioned alongside Germany greats Oliver Kahn, Sepp Maier and Harold Schumacher. Yes, he sometimes ventures too far from his goal, but it is a characteristic that sets him apart and proves he does not shy away on the biggest stage. Manuel, we salute you.
6) Germany aren’t as good as Brazil made them out to be
Put hyperbole aside. German won 7-1 but who did they beat? A ramshackle of a side devoid of identity and amateurish in defence. Whether they face the Netherlands or Argentina in the final, they will provide a far sterner test. Both Algeria and Ghana have shown that this German back line can be got at. Our message to their fans: don't get too excited just yet...
7) Building a team around one player reaps what you sow
Brazil lost two players and were decimated. The absence of Thiago Silva made Brazil unstable at the back but it was the loss of Neymar that saw Brazil shorn of ideas, direction and confidence. It is always a risk to build a whole side around one player – particularly when the competition that team play in only last four weeks. Brazil reaped what they sowed.
- Sports & Recreation
- David Luiz