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‘Ghost’ of 7-1 Germany mauling still haunts Brazil: Tite

Brazilian national football team coach Tite (2-R) has overseen a renaissance which has left admirers talking about a return of the team’s fabled “jogo bonito” (“beautiful game”)

BERLIN, Germany, Mar 26Brazil coach Tite says the “ghost” of their 7-1 mauling by Germany at the 2014 World Cup still haunts the ‘Selecao’, as the teams prepare to meet on Tuesday.

Brazil suffered their heaviest home defeat when Germany hit four goals in six devastating first-half minutes of the Belo Horizonte semi-final nearly four years ago.

Toni Kroos and Andre Schuerrle both scored twice over the 90 minutes as Germany’s attack ran riot en route to winning the World Cup title.

The teams meet in a friendly for the first time since at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium and Tite says Brazil still bear the scars.

“This has a huge psychological meaning – no one needs to fool themselves about that,” Tite told German magazine Kicker.

“The 7-1 from the World Cup is like a ghost.

“It’s present, people still talk about it, but the more you talk about it, the less this ‘ghost’ disappears.

“It won’t just be a sporting challenge, but a huge emotional challenge too.

“We are preparing to give our best performance, which will be important, but of course I also want a good result.”

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Tite has been in charge of Brazil since 2016, but Felipe Scolari was head coach for the mauling by Germany at the last World Cup.

“I was watching the game at home in Sao Paulo with my wife and after the third goal went in, she started to cry,” said the 56-year-old Tite.

“That started me off.

“It was a moment of great inspiration for Germany, every shot was a goal – stuff like that doesn’t even happen in video games.

“Sometimes you get that in football, a team comes close to perfection and that’s what happened to Germany.

“The wound is still open and the match in Berlin is a part of the process of closing it.”

Germany lost to Brazil on penalties in the men’s final of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, but this is their first meeting at senior international level since the 7-1 rout.

Tite told Brazil reporters that Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho will replace Douglas Costa in the only change from the team which beat Russia 3-0 in Moscow on Friday.

Germany head coach Joachim Loew expects to make up to five changes from the starting line-up of Friday’s 1-1 with Spain.

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Stars Mesut Ozil and Thomas Mueller have been released by Loew to rest while Ilkay Gundogan is expected to start in Germany’s midfield.

Tite explained in depth why he sees Germany as one of the favourites to defend their World Cup title this June in Russia.

“Not only because of the football, but because of something hard to attain: continuity in their performances,” said the Brazilian.

“It has been a process in the years under Joachim Loew.

“Tactically, Germany has a lot of options, you saw that at the Confederations Cup (which they won) with high quality young players.”

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