Germany boss Joachim Low believes the 7-1 humiliation his side handed Brazil in 2014 served as a motivation for the five-time world champions to change and improve.
The two heavyweight footballing countries meet on Tuesday in Berlin for the first time at senior level since that remarkable World Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte, which left the host nation stunned.
Low’s side went on to lift the trophy, beating Argentina 1-0 in extra time, while Brazil began the long process of getting the loss out of their system during Dunga’s underwhelming second spell as head coach.
But the Selecao have established themselves as one of the favourites for Russia 2018 under Dunga’s successor Tite, after cruising to top spot in the notoriously unforgiving CONMEBOL qualifying section.
“The 7-1 plays a much bigger role for Brazil than for us,” Low told a pre-match news conference.
“For us, the game was of course a great success, but it was just one step on our path to the title. Looking back, one day after the game we had already forgot about it.
“Our focus shifted towards the final and Brazil’s arch-rivals Argentina. That was the most important goal.
“Of course, Brazil wants some kind of revenge and hope to rectify the loss to some extent, but that isn’t possible. You cannot get the semi-final back.”
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Germany and Brazil have traditionally played with distinctive and clearly contrasting styles.
Low feels this is no longer the case after 2014, as Tite’s men align a strong collective work ethic with their customary flair and his own team boast individual talents with sublime skills and technique.
“You cannot say that Brazil has the better individual players but Germany is the better team,” he added.
“You cannot compare every player one-to-one. Every player has his own strengths and weaknesses and has to be integrated into a team.
“Brazil has many players who have great skill with the ball. Everybody wants to have the ball and be perfect with it.
“But we now also have players with great skills with the ball. On the other hand, Brazil have become a strong team where everybody fits in.
“It’s not everybody for himself anymore, with the one superstar who has all the freedom.
“Even the Neymars and [Philippe] Coutinhos fit into the collective of the team.”
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