March 26, 2017

5 things on Brazil v Germany at Olympics

File Photo taken during the Brazil v Germany match at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil . Photo: Reuters

Five things to watch out for in the men’s football gold medal match between Brazil and Germany on Saturday:

1. REVENGE AND REDEMPTION

Just two years after the heaviest and most humiliating defeat in Brazil’s history when Germany won their World Cup semi-final 7-1 in Belo Horizonte, the sides meet again on Brazilian soil.

Brazil’s most painful loss until 2014 had been a 2-1 defeat to Uruguay at Rio’s Maracana—where the final will be held—in front of a world record 173,850 attendance at the 1950 World Cup final.

Germany have happier memories of the Maracana as they followed up their semi-final win by beating Lionel Messi’s Argentina to win the World Cup there two years ago.

2. FIRST GOLD

Despite winning a record five World Cups Brazil have never won Olympic gold.

They fell just short in London four years ago, losing 2-1 to Mexico in the final to add to two other silver and two more bronze medals.

Four-time world champions Germany have also never struck gold as a united nation. East Germany won gold in 1976, while the old West Germany’s best effort came with bronze in 1988.

3. OLD RIVALS, NEW FACES

Whilst the spectre of Germany’s 7-1 win two years ago will hang over the final, not one player who took to the field in Belo Horizonte will take part in Saturday’s showpiece.

Brazil’s star forward Neymar and Borussia Dortmund’s Matthias Ginter are the only two players who were in their respective nations’ World Cup 2014 squads.

Neymar missed out on the semi-final after suffering two broken bones in his back during a brutal quarter-final clash with Colombia, whilst Ginter was an unused substitute.

4. BEST DEFENCE V BEST ATTACK

A 2-0 semi-final win over Nigeria took free-scoring Germany’s impressive tally for the tournament to 22 goals in just five matches. They also boast the two top scorers in the competition with Serge Gnabry and Nils Petersen both on six.

Brazil have struck 12 times in their last three games having been held scoreless in their opening two matches. However, the hosts have yet to concede a goal at Rio 2016.

5. BRAZIL ENJOY HEAD-TO-HEAD LEAD

Despite the 2014 semi-final, Brazil still enjoy a favourable head-to-head record with Germany, winning 12 and losing just five of their 22 meetings. The most famous Brazil win coming in the 2002 World Cup final.

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