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Millennium Post

Klose encounters

The drubbing that Brazil received at the hands of Germany in the FIFA World Cup 2014 first semifinal match at the Belo Horizonte stadium would go down in history as one of the most humiliating defeats that a home team and a global favourite ever received. Perhaps Neymar’s back broke than just the Brazilian claim to the cup of joy, it broke millions of hearts as well. While fans world over, and indeed at the stadium, sporting trademark yellow Brazilian jersey, their faces painted with Brazilian flag or wearing Neymar masks, underwent the biggest heartbreak in a long, long time, what also needs to be acknowledged is the sheer German brilliance that tore down already wobbly Brazilian defence and gave them the unprecedented 7-1 beat, itself a record in the history of football. Germany, in the semifinal, set a number of new highs, including the most number of goals in a World Cup semifinal, conceding more than five goals by half-time in a WC semi. Moreover, Germany scored two more goals in this single game, seven, than a team like England managed in the past two World Cups combined, another indication of the precision and accuracy of the German sporting culture.

     Though Brazil had won over the hearts globally, Germany wowed with their single-minded devotion to strategy, innovation and team effort. Miroslav Klose scored his 16th goal, becoming the highest scorer in World Cup history, while Thomas Mueller, who gave his team the lead within the third minute of the game, scored his 10th WC goal, becoming the 13th player to reach double figures for World Cup goals and the fifth German to do it. In addition, Mueller’s goal was Germany’s 2,000th in history of the national football team Die Mannschaft (the first goal was scored in 1908 by Fritz Becker). There are a number of other scintillating details that turned this match from a Brazilian dirge to a swansong for Deutschland, with even Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, opting for the finals on 12 July (13 July 1:30 IST) instead of meeting our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Certainly, football didn’t die in this match, but got a new lease of life.      
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