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IS 1-0 REALLY VENGEANCE?

I have seen numerous headlines this morning regarding yesterday’s international friendly match between Germany and Brazil and they all seem to suggest that the Selecao has reclaimed their honor by beating Germany 1-0 in the latter’s home turf. The overwhelming sentiment is that the Brazilians have managed to avenge their World Cup defeat to Germany nearly four years ago. People have already seen Brazil win this year’s cup because of that SOLITARY Jesus’ goal! They have already predicted how Germany will flop this year, the same way that Brazil sunk in the last World Cup. NKT!!!!!

First of all, hogwash! My understanding of the term ‘vengeance’ does not seem to fit this narrative being spread around. Yesterday, Brazil won 1-0 in Berlin in an international friendly. Four years ago, Germany thrashed Brazil SEVEN goals to ONE on the Selecao’s home soil in the World Cup Semi-Finals! Brazil has not managed to avenge their most humiliating game in world history. That one goal defeat cannot even be considered a sting to Germany’s brilliant World Cup record. They have only managed to anger the bull as far as I’m concerned.

As you might have noticed by now, I am an ardent Die Nationalmannschaft supporter, and I have been for several years. To me, the German national team is like a well-oiled fighting machine that destroys everything in its path (clearly, I’m into violence; blame it on my obsession with video games). I love their tenacity, their strength, and their ability to wear their opponents down minute by minute. And, they do it so mechanically, so methodically, that you often find yourself pitying their opponents. It’s usually a ‘bringing the sheep to the slaughter’ kind of scenario everytime a team is set to face the Germans

Hence, my complete astonishment at these frenzied reports that have surfaced regarding my favorite national team’s performance last night. Let me let you in on a little secret, people, that game was purely experimental! Did you see Muller play? Did you see Ozil on that pitch last night or Can? No! Because this was not a must-win game, and what better opportunity to try out your other guns than a friendly against the world’s number two. Several major changes were made to the usual German line-up, and there were many young players on that pitch because, as Low put it ‘ ..that is why you have such games, to try things out.’ And try things out they did!

Granted, their performance was not as stellar as it usually is, and Brazil capitalized on the clear lack of cohesion in the German side by absolutely covering themselves with that 6-3-1 formation. But, we saw a lot of young, untapped talent as well as some flashes of glory from the German side that I hope we’ll get to see more of in the World Cup. Wagner, as usual, was impressive, although he missed the mark a couple of times. Boateng brought nearly his all to that match, and I liked his energy and persistence throughout the game, all hallmarks of a great captain (let us just be honest, this boy can do no wrong in my eyes, he is as perfect as they come! Seeing him play always excites my little heart! I almost cried when he went down after Jesus stepped on his back quad, it was really devastating to see him in pain!). Moving on swiftly…

Least impressive for me was Mario Gomez, and so it was a sigh of relief when he went out for Wagner. Needless to say, we are in this mess because of Trapp’s error, but there is no point kicking a man when he is down is there?

Brazil had everything at stake going into this game, and they played their hearts out to secure that lead. Dani Alves, Marcello, Willian and Jesus (goal-scorer) played really good football yesterday, and they had me gasping for air at certain moments. (Especially Willian, I cannot get enough of this boy! He puts everything he has in every match he plays, I don’t know how he does it). I just hope they have something left for the actual World Cup matches. The only let-down for me from the Brazilian side was Coutinho. His head was never in that game and it was clear to see. He better pull his socks up or he’s going to end up costing his side big time on the big stage.

Despite the win, and Brazil managing to stop Germany’s 22-game unbeaten run, Brazil is far from ever redeeming themselves or avenging their catastrophic World Cup semi-final loss to Germany four Decembers ago.

Anyway, I hope both teams are prepared for Spain. After the thrashing the Spaniards gave Argentina yesterday, you best believe that Spain is a formidable opponent in this year’s World Cup!

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