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How Germany beat Brazil 7-1 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup?

Germany beat Brazil 7-1

The 2014 semi-final between Brazil and Germany is still undoubtedly one of the most shocking results in World Cup history. I watched the game at 10-years-old and before the game, I was expecting Brazil to go through. I was lying on the sofa watching the goals fly in, one after the other. It was something I had never experienced before. What I remember vividly is the tears of the Brazilian fans streaming down their faces at halftime when they were losing 5–0. In hindsight, with Neymar injured and Thiago Silva suspended, it was probably expected that Brazil would lose. However, to lose by that margin was something that hardly anyone expected. So how did they do it?

How Germany beat Brazil 7-1 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup?

The loss of Thiago Silva 

Thiago Silva of course was a damaging loss for Brazil. One of the most obvious downsides to losing him was the fact he was the captain. His leadership was no doubt a crucial asset as in the next game their defence fell apart. He is also a very disciplined and talented defender which caused David Luiz to take the armband. That is a considerable downgrade. Even with Thiago Silva, the defence was shaky. Although they only conceded 4 goals on their way to the semi-final, they were still suspect at the back.

As a consequence, losing Thiago Silva would be so detrimental to their defence which would cause the floodgates to open. He was stoic, composed, and outstanding at anticipating plays which was the antithesis of David Luiz who was very unpredictable. He didn’t just use his intelligence for his performance but would of course tell the other players in the defence where they should go. Without that, it is no doubt why Brazil struggled. Dante was his replacement and would not be able to cover the bold David Luiz in the way Thiago Silva did.

Neymar’s injury 

Another factor in their loss was the absence of Neymar. Even at the young age of 22, Neymar was one of the world’s best players and was the talisman of his country. However, it got to a point where they overly relied on Neymar’s magic to get them over the line. In their opening match against Croatia, Marcelo scored an own goal, and it was Neymar who overturned the deficit to score in the 29th minute and a 71st-minute penalty. Oscar then added the final goal to ensure the 3 points for the “Selacao”.

Neymar scored another brace this time against Cameroon. Although Neymar didn’t score in the knockout stages, he netted a penalty against Chile in the shootout and in general was a nightmare for defenders. Therefore, when he went down injured it was no surprise that Brazil would lose a major asset for the next game. In five games he scored 4 goals and 2 assists. Brazil scored 11 goals in that tournament and Neymar directly contributed more than half of them. Moreover, two man of the match awards tell you that he was on fire in the tournament.

Neymar was undoubtedly the creative hub of the team. Most of the attacks would come from Neymar. As a result, the rest of the team would give him the ball as he was such a great player. While this may be the case it showed that the rest of Brazil’s attack were underperforming. Fred played terribly in the game against Germany, but he was like that for the majority of the tournament. Hulk was ok but just didn’t have the cutting edge that Neymar had. Benard was the man that was supposed to replace Neymar but could not replicate the impact that he had on the team.

Read More: Neymar’s Brazil Career: The End?

Scolari’s choices 

Again, I don’t think Brazil’s team were good enough to beat Germany. You may have guts and heart, but you also need talent and in hindsight, it was clear there was a gulf in class. That may have been down to Scolari’s team selection. They kept Julio Caesar who played in MLS and stuck with Maicon and Maxwell who were both past their prime. In the same season, Atletico Madrid made the Champions League final with two Brazilians at the back, Miranda and Filipe Luis. They also won La Liga with an amazing defensive record, so it seemed odd that Scolari did not call them up.

Another great Brazilian who played for Atletico Madrid was Diego Costa who was becoming an elite striker who would be a huge upgrade over Jo and Fred. Instead, Costa grew tired of not playing for Brazil and switched his allegiance to Spain. In fairness, Fred was good before 2014 but having something like Costa to bring on would have been a great asset. Lucas Moura who was extremely quick could have been a better player than Benard in that tournament. Moreover, a young Marquinhos could have also been called up to Brazil.

Brazil did not have the best tactics to take on Germany. Mainly Scolari just stuck with players who had played poorly. Maicon and Fernandinho replaced Dani Alves and Paulinho was equally worse than the two they replaced. They had very inexperienced players with only six of the total squad having played at a World Cup before. Brazil on the whole was far too emotional in the tournament which included crying at the national anthem. This contrasted massively with the stoic and robotic Germany who seemed to do their job without thought or emotion.

Germany’s strengths

But it wasn’t just the fact that Brazil was bad but also Germany was incredible. Neuer in this tournament had just taken the thrown from Iker Casillas as the best shot stopper in the world. Furthermore, they had Philip Lahm as the captain who like Thiago Silva was very intelligent and composed. Germany without a shadow of a doubt held midfield superiority. They had the creative geniuses of Mesut Ozil at his best and Toni Kroos. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Samir Khedira were also reliable in midfield. Thomas Muller was dangerous in the 2010 World Cup, and it was no different in 2014.

Up front, they had an elite striker unlike Brazil in Miroslav Klose who broke Ronaldo de Lima’s record for World Cup goals with 16. It looked relatively even as Brazil mustered 18 shots with 8 of them on target. In comparison, Germany had 14 shots with 10 of them reaching the target. In terms of possession, it was quite balanced as Germany held 53% of the ball.

Taking this into consideration despite Brazil’s lacklustre attack, it is impossible to not point at their defence being the main reason why they lost by such a huge margin. You could see it in the game. Neuer was incredible which kept Brazil’s attack at bay but the way that Germany broke down Brazil’s defence was so ruthless. One can only compare it to a warm knife through butter. In the first half, there was no mercy. Brazil was all over the place. Although when I was shocked when I saw it at 10-years-old, looking at all of the variables and factors involved in this game, there is no shock as to why they got annihilated. It was just men vs boys out there.


Brazil was decimated by Germany in their own backyard for a multitude of reasons. The main one is undoubtedly due to their poor defenders which just seemed to let them score. Luckily for Brazil, it was reportedly told in the dressing room to take it easy on them in the second half. I genuinely feel if Germany went full throttle and utterly humiliated Brazil even more. There you have it, that is why Germany beat Brazil in the semi-final of the 2014 World Cup.

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