Joachim Low says “Germany are not done yet” as they prepare to upstage host nation Brazil to their first FIFA World Cup final since 2002.
The three-time champions were beaten 2-1 by a coach Luis Felipe Scolari-led team in Korea and Japan 12 years ago, but now hopes to put an end to a disappointing run of two successive semi-final losses.
“We’re not done yet,” Low proclaimed in an interview with the German Football Association (DFB).
“We’ve been in at least the semi-finals of the last four World Cups and that just shows that we’ve been playing consistently at the very highest level.”
Germany have been one of the outstanding teams of the World Cup and- aside some few blips in their second round extra-time win against Algeria – have rarely looked in any danger.
Brazil, who on their own part have lived up to expectation in their bid for a sixth World Cup title, are the biggest test, so far, for the Germans, and Low acknowledges they pose a big threat to their own ambition.
“We all know how strong Brazil are,” Low said. “They were the big favourites right from the start and the players have mostly coped with this role outstandingly.
“They underlined at the Confederations Cup last year that the expectation levels lift them further and the pressure doesn’t numb them. What they’ve done is good for the whole tournament; it’s good when the hosts go so far, but we’re self-confident and we’ve gelled more as the tournament has progressed. We’ll devise a good plan and give Brazil a real fight. The chances are even and it’s going to come down to something really minor, who reaches the final.”
Brazil coach Scolari will have to name a replacement for the injured Neymar and suspended captain Thiago Silva for the crucial encounter and Low regrets the fact that the South Americans will not have two of their best players on the pitch in Belo Horizonte.
“You always want to see the best players in action at a World Cup, and the players always want to measure themselves up to the very best,” Low added. “It’s a pity that Brazil have to play without two of their best, but they will be able to cover for them.
“I’m incredibly sorry for Neymar. He’s an amazing footballer and it’s really bitter and hugely unfortunate that he’s going to miss out – for him, for his team and for the whole nation. I hope he recovers and is playing again as quickly as possible and that he can deal with this setback positively.”