10 things you need to know about Brazil vs. Germany
Germany enter the lion's den on Tuesday to face hosts Brazil in Belo Horizonte. The two teams know what it takes at this stage of the competition and the winner will play Netherlands or Argentina in the final.
Hosts have more wins
Brazil against Germany in Belo Horizonte will be the 22nd meeting between the sides. The Selecao have won 12 matches from 21, while the Germans have won only four. In the first two games, Pele was the match-winner, before Germany worked up to wins in 1986 and 1993. They have been largely free-scoring events, which goes against the round of 16 trend at the 2014 finals.
Despair in 2002
The last time the two countries played in a World Cup was way back in 2002. The game marked the end of a German generation. After losing 2-nil in the final, many German stars retired. In that match, Ronaldo scored a brace to fire Brazil to their fifth title.
Under previous rules, a booking against Brazil on Tuesday night would see a number of German players miss the final. Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira and Höwedes have each drawn yellow cards, and in 2002, German midfielder Michael Ballack missed the final after drawing yellow against South Korea. But a change in FIFA's amnesty rules resets the tally for the semi-final.
The great Giovane
Giovane Elber is, perhaps, one of Germany's best Brazilian imports. He spent six years with Bayern Munich, winning four league titles and scoring more than 130 league goals. He became a popular figure in Bavaria, but yet, Elber managed to win just 15 caps for the Selecao. This tournament he's working as an expert for German broadcaster ARD, commentating in German of course.
In contrast, at just 24, Brazil's Breno has had a tough time playing in the Bundesliga. After moving to Bayern Munich for a hefty fee, he was arrested and convicted in 2011 for arson. He was handed a three year sentence - but was released in 2013 and signed a contract to become Bayern's U-23 coach, as the club looked to assist him. He played 14 matches for Brazil as a junior.
Dortmund's favorite son
Leonardo de Deus Santos - also known as Dede - played over 300 times for German giants Borussia Dortmund, winning two championship titles. Last season, he was contracted to Turkish club Eskisehirspor where he is likely to conclude his career at the age of 36. Did you know: Dede only played once for Brazil, in a friendly match against Hungary in 2004.
Many star Brazilian players have a connection to Bayern Munich. Dante (right) will likely play a leading role in central-defense for Brazil in the semi, replacing the suspended Thiago Silva. Midfielder Luiz Gustavo (left) used to play at Bayern and has now moved to Wolfsburg. Rafinha (middle), is not included in the Selecao squad, but has been playing at Bayern since 2011.
Both teams will be without their talisman on Tuesday night. Neymar's back injury leaves him out for the rest of the World Cup, his omission shattering a nation who had believed in the Barca star. For Germany, Marco Reus was in fantastic form before the tournament, but an injury against Armenia in a recent friendly put an end to his World Cup chances.
Scolari and Löw
Both team's coaches have favored pragmatism over their nation's respective football identities. We've seen no samba, or interchanging play, so far, with both teams opting to be stronger defensively and look to pick their moment to attack. Tuesday should be a fascinating tactical battle between the two coaches with so much at stake for the winner.
Chasing the record
There won't be many more chances for Miroslav Klose to break the World Cup goal-scoring record. It could even be his last game at a World Cup, should Germany lose to Brazil. He is currently level as the highest-scorer on 15 goals with Ronaldo. How fitting for the 36-year-old, if he could fire Germany to a World Cup final.