Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha
New Delhi: Brazil`s talisman Neymar will miss the remaining action at home and most importantly in the most crucial stage of the show-piece FIFA World Cup 2014. Brazil overcame Colombian challenge in the quarter finals last night but their biggest challenge lies ahead now - Germany!
The 22-year old Barcelona forward was stretchered off in the 88th minute after he fractured a vertebra in his back when he was kneed in a challenge by Colombia`s Juan Zuniga. The Brazilian superstar had been Brazil`s best player and was also their main striking hope.
The likes of Fred, Jo and Hulk have under-performed and now without Neymar the set-up has broken for Luiz Felipe Scholari`s side. Also, skipper Thiago Silva who scored the opener against Colombia will miss the clash against Germany after getting booked. These two are big players - not having them is a scenario Scholari would have least expected.
There`s one positive though as Neymar`s injury opens up a place for Willian. The Chelsea attacking midfielder is fresh talent and can play in a number of positions. Scholari could opt for Willian and Bernard and alongside Oscar the trio could set up an interesting attack in the final third.
Germany have been tactically spot-on. Against France their defensive act came together and what looked pleasing is the entire team`s link-up. Germany are showing glimpses of the 2010 World Cup team of Spain with their performances so far and it will be hard to break them down.
For Brazil it is a final itself in the last-four encounter as they face the best of the lot. The hosts have kept up to the entire nation`s expectations so far and have the emotional edge in times of sheer pressure. Wins matter most and both teams have got that under their belt.
It`s a different prospect altogether when you play a team which has the wave of emotions riding behind them. Brazil will need more than what they have offered so far as fierce Germany look hungry.
Any attack comprising of an in-form Neymar casts a big threat and Brazil will miss that added zeal against Germany. The poster boy will hope Brazil can shine without him at a time when they need him the most.
This Germany side under Joachim Loew can break a million Brazilian hearts!