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‘Germany must not be afraid’

Belo Horizonte: Astonishing as it may seem, the eagerly-awaited semi-final between the tournament hosts and Germany on Tuesday will only be the second time the two giants of the game have met at the World Cup. Their only encounter was the unforgettable final in 2002, when Brazil triumphed 2-0 to win their fifth, and to date last, world title.

Dietmar Hamann, a member of the defeated German side though is confident that the present German side can avenge the loss.

“They can always play better but they dealt with the pressure well against Ghana and Algeria and dominated the match for 90 minutes against France, who had perhaps been the best team at the tournament up until the quarter-finals,” said Hamann. “Germany aren’t at 100 per cent just yet but Brazil haven’t been either. Germany are well prepared and have no reason to fear Brazil.”

Asked what the difference was between the Germany now and the new crop of players, Hamann said that the present squad has the ability to score lot of goals and they have no reason to fear Brazil.

“Back then we were a very efficient group that worked well together, but we had nowhere near the same kind of flair our lads have today.

“Today we’ve got five or six players who can create chances: Mario Goetze, Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Andre Schurrle, Bastian Schweinsteiger. Germany are well prepared and they should not be afraid.”