Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger said the absence of Neymar will provide Brazil with extra motivation in their World Cup semifinal here Tuesday.
The Bayern Munich midfielder told reporters that Brazil would be determined to win for the forward, who suffered a fractured vertebra in the Selecao’s 2-1 victory over Colombia Friday, reports Xinhua.
“We’re all sad that Neymar can’t play, it’s always better when the opponents have all their best players on the pitch,” Schweinsteiger said.
“It will bring the (Brazil) team together and they’ll want to win the title for him.”
Tuesday’s clash at the Mineirao stadium will be the teams’ first since the 2002 World Cup final, which Brazil won 2-0 courtesy of a Ronaldo brace.
Schweinsteiger said Brazil’s coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and his assistant Carlos Alberto Parreira were other formidable assets in Brazil’s quest for a sixth World Cup trophy. Both have guided Brazil to football’s ultimate prize previously — Parreira in 1994 and Scolari in 2002.
“They have two coaches who have won the title already, they have the home advantage and players with individual class,” Schweinsteiger said.
“Their coaches have a lot of experience of this kind of situation. It’s an honour and a challenge to play against the hosts, but it would have been better to play Brazil in the final. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, to play the hosts in this football-crazy country, I mean that in a positive sense, is something special.”
Midfielder Sami Khedira also warned his teammates that Brazil’s threat extended beyond Neymar.
“It is bad news for us and for fans of football but the Brazilians will put out a super team even without Neymar,” Khedira was quoted saying by the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.