Germany Manager Joachim Löw expressed concerns about the “brutal and crude” challenges that were witnessed in Brazil’s 2-1 World Cup quarterfinal victory over Colombia on Saturday. Germany faces Brazil in the semifinals on Tuesday. Mexican referee Marco Rodríguez has been selected to take charge of the match.
Löw’s Germany side will face a Brazilian team that lacks superstar Neymar whose World Cup was ended by a Juan Zuniga challenge late in the match against Colombia. Brazil will also be without Thiago Silva, the team’s best defender who is suspended.
In advance of the semifinal Löw discussed his concerns about the physicality with the media:
“In this World Cup the football is more about a physical dynamism, tough duels, players who will work and fight,”
“I hope the referee tomorrow, Mr Rodríguez from Mexico, will clamp down on the kind of things we saw last Friday. That physical energy in the match against Colombia went beyond the limits one would expect from a game in Europe. When I saw that match … well, in Europe, 22 players wouldn’t have ended that match on the pitch.
“There were brutal fouls, people blocking opponents off however they could. It was really exaggerated. That’s what we saw on the pitch, so I hope these really brutal and crude fouls are stopped or we won’t see offensive players like Neymar or [Mario] Götze, [Mesut] Özil or [Lionel] Messi on the pitch and we’ll just see players who go out there set to destroy. This is a World Cup that’s full of dynamism and physical force but I’ve seen matches where that has gone over the limit.
“Colombia against Brazil was a real fight with numerous fouls from both sides: not just the one foul against Neymar but many others as well. You saw how many fouls there were from behind which were really dangerous for the players: slide tackles from behind and from the side. You have to protect the players when you’re a referee. That’s something that’s important for everyone working in football. You have to protect the attackers. They have been roughed up in a very bad way. I don’t think it was a good thing that we saw there.”
In Silva’s absence, Dante who features for Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga is likely to be his replacement. The German side who is composed largely of domestic based players will be familiar with the exploits of Dante as well as Luiz Gustavo of Wolfsburg who has had an outstanding World Cup playing in front of the back four.
Löw will have a completely fit side to choose from for Tuesday’s semifinal with the exception of right-back Shkodran Mustafi.