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Good evening, sports fans! Anyone else get the feeling that World Cup semi-finals have a tendency to be somewhat understated? After all, this evening in Belo Horizonte we have two of the historical superpowers of international football locking horns for a place in the World Cup final, and the world seems less than over-excited at the prospect of it all. Perhaps we’re all footballed out after the sheer glut of matches that have been sent our way over the last three weeks or so. Unlike some other knockout competitions, it feels as if the semi-finals are relatively underplayed. Perhaps tonight, however, will be different.

So, Brazil and Germany, then. As any foo’ knows, these two teams have, in spite of having the two best records of any nation at the World Cup finals, only met once before, and this was in the final of the competition twelve years ago, when Brazil beat Germany by two goals to nil in Yokohama. Other than that, historical trend analysts will have to look elsewhere in order to draw their assumptions. The bookmakers seem unable to decide who are the favourites to win this match, and in order to reach any conclusions ourselves we have to delve back through the tournament to see if there’s anything that we can glean from previous performances in order to make any sense of it all.

On the one hand, Brazil are the hosts and benefits from all the advantages that this confers upon them. On the other, however, they have not played particularly brilliantly so far, and a combination of the injury to Neymar and the suspension handed down to Thiago Silva are big losses to a team that has not exactly been overbrimming with quality so far. Germany, meanwhile, have experience in the likes of seasoned international players such as Phillip Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and Miroslaw Klose, but have hardly set the tournament alight since thrashing Portugal in their opening match. It looks as if the bookmaking community might just about be right. Perhaps this match is too close to call.

The winners, of course, play the winners of tomorrow night’s match between the Netherlands and Lionel Messi in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. Who will it be? Well, your guess is just about as good as ours at the time of writing, but come back and join us shortly before nine this evening (BST) and who knows, perhaps we’ll keep you entertained for a couple of hours while this match grinds inevitably towards a goalless draw and Brazl win after a penalty shoot-out. We look forward, as ever, to your company.

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Mark July 8, 201411:05 pm

Still. Tee-hee. Eh? :-)

Mark July 8, 201410:55 pm

And the secret to Germany’s success? Just seen Elton John congratulating a German player.

Ted July 8, 201410:50 pm

Still, adeus to the worst Brazil team of all time. There are better Brazil sides than this depicted in Argentinian sitcoms.

Mark July 8, 201410:50 pm

Pity Germany couldn’t get the 8th. The Portuguese for “eight-one, EIGHT BLOODY ONE” would have been fun.
Now, Alan and Alan. You tipped them. Go on…

Ted July 8, 201410:48 pm

FULL TIME: Brazil 1-7 (SEVEN) Germany

Mark July 8, 201410:48 pm

Making Germany the “overwhelming favourites” on the basis of tonight is the laziest of lazy journalism. And, for once, the goal that happens as I type this actually underpins, not undermines my point.

Ted July 8, 201410:48 pm

Good shout. Ozil does what no German player had managed before him tonight and misses. Brazil take it down the other end and Oscar, who may be Brazil’s least awful player tonight, makes it 7-1. Or 9-1. Or 73-1, or whatever it is.

Mark July 8, 201410:46 pm


Ted July 8, 201410:44 pm

Let’s have a man of the match. Who has been the worst player on the pitch? I vote for Marcelo.

Mark July 8, 201410:43 pm

But to call him “head and shoulders” above any other keeper in the tournament, as Keown just has, is harsh on at least two CONCACAF custodians I can think of. Unless Keown was taking the p*ss out of Joe Hart and that advert…

Ted July 8, 201410:41 pm

Manuel Neuer is keeping goal like his mum has put a bet on him keeping a clean sheet.

Mark July 8, 201410:41 pm

Martin Keown doesn’t know what he’s doing after this World Cup finishes. Just like the last three-and-a-half weeks then.

Ted July 8, 201410:39 pm

There’s only ten minutes left to play, I’m worried that not all the German players are going to get a goal.

Mark July 8, 201410:37 pm

Luiz having a purple patch. Tackling Willian. Flicking the ball arrogantly over Schweinsteiger…who just laughed and took it back off him. Then a swing and a miss on Muller for which he should have been sent off. AND OF COURSE GERMANY HAVE SCORED AGAIN WHILE I’VE BEEN TYPING THIS. OF COURSE THEY HAVE.
Meanwhile, Steve Wilson TOTALLY misunderstands the concePt of sarcastic applause from 50,000 Brazilians.

Ted July 8, 201410:37 pm

It was Schürrle again, by the way. He’s proved a very effective attacker for Germany in this tournament, I think he’s had a great summer.

Ted July 8, 201410:35 pm

I’ll be honest, I didn’t think Germany were going to score seven.

Ted July 8, 201410:34 pm

HA HA HA HA HA fucking hell

Ted July 8, 201410:28 pm

Germany have got back into their rhythm now, since Brazil’s initial “they scored five in one half, so could we!” delusions were derailed by Manuel Neuer. The next goal will be accompanied by laughter rather than cheering. By the eighth, everyone will have gone home. Jogi Löw will get booked for removing his shirt to celebrate.

Mark July 8, 201410:27 pm

The Martin Keown that said a few minutes ago: “Muller thinks there’s more goals in this.” Oh god…not AGAIN!! I was about to ask “Where did Muller get that idea from?” Life taking the piss out of “art” once more.

Ted July 8, 201410:26 pm

André Schürrle compounds Brazil’s difficulties with a tap-in. It’s hard to see how they can come back now.

Ted July 8, 201410:24 pm

SIX! Six goals!

Ted July 8, 201410:23 pm

I think Keown is just deflecting. The crowd are booing him.

Mark July 8, 201410:23 pm

The crowd boo-ing Fred. Taking their lead from Martin Keown, as so many do…

Ted July 8, 201410:20 pm

The referee should just blow for full time now. Whatever happens in the next half an hour isn’t going to be nearly as interesting as the fallout, backbiting and recriminations from this masterpiece.

Ted July 8, 201410:16 pm

Martin Keown is a fascinating specimen.

Mark July 8, 201410:14 pm

And now Brazil have to defend against pace. This should be…interesting

Ted July 8, 201410:13 pm

Germany are now working on a new strategy to make me laugh, sitting back and trying to hit Brazil on the break.

Mark July 8, 201410:12 pm

Ah yes. Respect for his customers from Steve Wilson. “14% of you have egg on your face” he says of the Beeb viewers who tipped Brazil as winners out of the four semi-finalists. Did that 14% include Hansen and Shearer???

Ted July 8, 201410:10 pm

Brazil have, by all accounts, obviously received what can only be described as A Stern Talking To at half time and have come out all guns blazing in the second half. Unfortunately for them, the German custodian is probably good enough to get a game for QPR so they’ve not made the breakthrough yet.

Mark July 8, 201410:10 pm

Brazil might rue these wasted opportunities, you know?

Mark July 8, 201410:09 pm

Germany are disintegrating.
“Better”, says Martin Keown of Brazil. Is there no escape????

Ted July 8, 201410:06 pm

Brazil are now up to 55% possession, although it is possible that at least 20% of that figure represents time that the ball was in their goal.

Ted July 8, 201410:04 pm

The last team to score five goals against Germany in a competitive international were… England. So, forget about Neymar, bring on Michael Owen and Emile Heskey.

Mark July 8, 201410:01 pm

And Germany have brought on Mertersacker when they didn’t have to. The prosecution rests.

Ted July 8, 20149:55 pm

In fact, Marcelo is stood on the line waving his arms at nothing or no-one in particular for ALL of the goals. I’m no tactics guru, but I reckon that he could be occupying other, more profitable, areas of the pitch.

Mark July 8, 20149:53 pm

Klose got 5 of his 16 against Saudi Arabia. But still…what a player…as I said less than 48 minutes ago…er…

Ted July 8, 20149:50 pm

Watching a replay of the first goal. Marcelo is the nearest defender to Müller, and he’s stood on the goal line, waving his arms at nothing and no-one in particular. This is spectacular.

Mark July 8, 20149:48 pm

Bear in mind while listening to Hansen and Shearer…they tipped Brazil 48 minutes ago…

Ted July 8, 20149:47 pm

HALF TIME in Belo Horizonte, it’s 5-0 to Germany. Brazil have been total dogshit. You could argue that they’ve made a mockery of the World Cup. Even South Korea had a go in 2002.

Scolari’s decision to start with Neymar on the bench has backfired, I’m sure he’ll be on at half time.

Mark July 8, 20149:46 pm

Father figure Scolari’s half-time team talk??

“You’re all adopted.”

Ted July 8, 20149:43 pm

Lazy punditry watch: Martin Keown rounds on Fred, again. Fred’s not had a touch tonight, but to be fair he’s not had the opportunity to. What about the defence, Martin?

Mark July 8, 20149:40 pm

A quiet spell. Usually a cue for a Mexican wave, perhaps?
No, perhaps not…

Mark July 8, 20149:38 pm

Possession stats: Brazil 49% Germany 51%. Right-o.

Ted July 8, 20149:37 pm

Have Germany shut up shop now? Risky, trying to sit on a five goal lead.

Ted July 8, 20149:35 pm

If that happens, I can only hope they call the Brazilian team in and test whether or not they are awake.

Mark July 8, 20149:35 pm

We’re not about to learn the Portuguese for “we’ll support you ever more”, are we?
And how, HOW can Wilson call THIS Germany display “efficient”? HOW???

Mark July 8, 20149:33 pm

I forecast about eleven German players will be called in for dope tests. At least.

Ted July 8, 20149:33 pm

There’s been a lot of discussion from the commentary teams at this World Cup about the wonderful stadium atmosphere, but the sound I’m hearing now I’ve never heard at a football match before. One part heated discussion, one part chicken shed, eight parts anger.

Mark July 8, 20149:32 pm

Right. Before the sixth.
“If Scolari could do it again, I’m sure he’d choose another team.” – Keown. Yes…Colombia. Blimey, that’s not 1% as funny as what’s going on on the Belo Horizonch pitch.

Ted July 8, 20149:31 pm

What would ITV change the theme tune to? “The Germans, The Germans”?

Ted July 8, 20149:30 pm

Brazil have been absolutely appalling tonight. Abject. They could get beaten by any scoreline tonight and deserve it.

Mark July 8, 20149:29 pm

Will ITV have to change their theme tune? Hope so?
“If Scolari could do it again, I’m sure he’d…”…oh fcuk NOT ANOTHER ONE. SLOW DOWN LADS

Ted July 8, 20149:29 pm

Right, so, it’s like this:

Brazil 0-5 Germany

The scorers so far: Müller (11), Klose (23), Kroos (24, 26), Khedira (29)

It was 4-0 when I started typing, good grief.

Ted July 8, 20149:26 pm

Brazil have given up now. Germany’s players are queueing up to get one. Manuel Neuer will be next.

And the Brazilian fans thought the Uruguay match in 1950 was a kick in the knackers…

Mark July 8, 20149:26 pm

There is a real threat of crowd trouble at this rate.

Ted July 8, 20149:25 pm

Ha ha ha ha ha ha

Oh god

Ha ha ha ha

Fuck’s sake

Mark July 8, 20149:24 pm

Fuck me, am I watching highlights???

Ted July 8, 20149:24 pm

3-0, I mean.

Ted July 8, 20149:23 pm

Oh anyway, it’s 2-0.

Ted July 8, 20149:23 pm

Considering the fact that it was a Brazilian player’s record that Klose has just beaten, this is showing promise to be a gleefully amusing night of soccer.

Ted July 8, 20149:22 pm


Mark July 8, 20149:20 pm

Esperanto, surely?

I hope Brazil don’t lose their heads like they did against Holland in 1974…no…wait…that’s EXACTLY what I hope.

Ted July 8, 20149:19 pm

I’m going to need another replay of the discussion between Boateng and Marcelo so that I can definitively state which language is used when a German player wants to accuse a Brazilian one of being a dirty, cynical, cheating, no good, diving, sumbitch. English, presumably.

Mark July 8, 20149:15 pm

BBC appear blind to Luiz’s flailing elbow, which Keown has just called…er…”a fantastic run.”

Mark July 8, 20149:13 pm

Luiz, fresh from his failed elbow on Klose, defends like THAT. The sound you heard in the background was Alan Hansen’s head exploding. Tee-hee.
“We’ll see what Brazil are made of now,” says Keown. My first guess: Marzipan.

Ted July 8, 20149:11 pm

At this rate, he’ll have broken Miroslav Klose’s record before Klose does.

Ted July 8, 20149:10 pm

GOAL! It’s Thomas “Gerd” Muller

Ted July 8, 20149:08 pm

Of course, a Brazil striker is chasing a milestone too tonight. Will it prove to be a distraction? Yes, that’s right: Fred and Hulk are both still in the running for Worst Brazilian Player Ever award.

Ted July 8, 20149:06 pm

Gerd Muller.

Mark July 8, 20149:06 pm

Klose up front. Mistake. Admit that Fat Ronaldo’s first goal against Costa Rica in 2002 was an own goal – cos it WAS – give Klose the record and put Gotze, Podolski, ANYone else on.

Ted July 8, 20149:04 pm

The German football team have put me through a LOT OF SHIT in my lifetime, so let it be known that I consider handing out the whupping this WRETCHED, AWFUL Brazil team truly deserve to be reparations.

Ted July 8, 20149:02 pm

Brazil vs Germany is now a match that requires one team to wear their change colours and Martin Keown is a journalist. Is this the way the world ends?

Ian July 8, 20149:01 pm

News just in: Neymar’s ghost starts for Brazil tonight.

Mark July 8, 20149:01 pm

Should have made Brazil wear white shorts. This blue and Germany’s black is confusing me.

Mark July 8, 20149:00 pm

Martin Keown “can’t wait.” Good. Wonder where he’s off too…

Ted July 8, 20148:59 pm

FIFA continue to troll us, making Germany wear their change kit. I hate the world.

Ted July 8, 20148:54 pm

Congratulations to the BBC’s Steve Wilson there, calling the German National Anthem “Deutschland Uber Alles”, foreshadowing the team taking to the field for the second half wearing hats with spikes on, presumably.

Mark July 8, 20148:54 pm

Nope. Not even me…

Ted July 8, 20148:53 pm

I hope Brazil do that a cappella thing with their national anthem, no-one is sick to death of that by now.

Mark July 8, 20148:46 pm

The BBC’s Tim Vickery has been one of the stars of this tournament. HE could get in this Brazilian side too…
Oscar could be an influence tonight, after his two-and-a-weeks complete rest.

Ted July 8, 20148:38 pm

Incidentally, if you Google “Ronaldo”, the first result is Cristiano Ronaldo. What is this shit?

Ted July 8, 20148:35 pm

These were the teams the last (only) time that Brazil and Germany met in the World Cup before:

GERMANY: Kahn; Linke, Ramelow, Metzelder; Frings, Bode (Ziege 84), Hamann, Jeremies (G. Asamoah 77), Schneider; Neuville, Klose (Bierhoff 74).

BRAZIL: Marcos; Lucio, Roque Junior, Edmilson, Cafu, Roberto Carlos; Gilberto Silva, Kleberson; Ronaldinho (Juninho Paulista 85), Rivaldo, Ronaldo (Denilson 90).

The keen-eyed among you will notice that one of Germany’s starting XI twelve years ago is in this evening’s squad and starts. Meanwhile, every single one of that Brazil team could get a game tonight. Even the ones who have got fat.


Mark July 8, 20148:01 pm

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