Brazil stop German run, regain pride

Germany goalkeeper Kevin Trapp is beaten by Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus (not pictured) in their friendly in Berlin for the game's only goal. The two teams are the leading favourites to win the World Cup.
Germany goalkeeper Kevin Trapp is beaten by Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus (not pictured) in their friendly in Berlin for the game's only goal. The two teams are the leading favourites to win the World Cup.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BERLIN • Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva believes Brazil restored some pride in the famous yellow shirt, after a 1-0 friendly win over world champions Germany allowed the Selecao to put their 2014 World Cup mauling behind them.

Gabriel Jesus' first-half goal at a sold-out Olympic Stadium ended Germany's unbeaten 22-game run dating back to their Euro 2016 semi-final defeat by hosts France.

"It was a matter of pride after all that has been written and said," said Silva, who was suspended for the Germans' 7-1 rout in Belo Horizonte. "This jersey deserves a little more respect. That's why I'm overjoyed about winning against a big opponent."

Coach Tite had admitted his men were still haunted by their heaviest defeat on home soil, but said that they showed cool heads in the chilly environment.

"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," he said.

"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.

"There are positive things to take from the game and the result."

The 56-year-old was pleased with Brazil's strength in depth despite missing talisman Neymar, who is recovering from foot surgery.

"We are learning to play well without Neymar and that is part of our strength," he said.

Their previous three games were draws against England, France and Spain and coach Joachim Low admitted that Germany had work to do with two friendlies left against Austria and Saudi Arabia in June.

"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," he 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. We had a few young players, who will learn from this, but the body language was not right from some players."

He made seven changes from the team who started last Friday's 1-1 draw with Spain, and Toni Kroos felt that some fringe players blew their chance to secure a spot in the final 23-man squad to Russia.

"There were a few players who had the chance to show what they could do, but didn't take it. That's annoying," the Real Madrid midfielder added.

"We saw today that we aren't as good as we are made out to be and as some players believe. There is a lot of room for improvement."

Brazil and Germany get their Finals campaign under way on June 17 against Switzerland and Mexico respectively.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2018, with the headline 'Brazil stop German run, regain pride'. Print Edition | Subscribe