Brazil vs Germany: Three things

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Neymar's 'little brother' next to the real Neymar. Photos / Michael Burgess and AP
Neymar's 'little brother' next to the real Neymar. Photos / Michael Burgess and AP

Michael Burgess looks at three talking points ahead of tomorrow's semifinal clash between hosts Brazil and Germany.

Is Neymar's 'little brother' ready to play?
Everywhere you go in Brazil there are replica Neymar shirts, hanging from shop windows, side alleys, roadside stalls and upmarket shops.

But this was different - this was a 'replica Neymar', complete with glamour girlfriend.
This young lad outside one of the stadiums was a splitting image of the 22-year-old Brazilian star, down to the facial features and carefully crafted and styled hair.

He called himself "Neymar's little brother' but didn't say if he played football. Maybe he could be used around the Brazil team over the next 24 hours, to throw some confusion into the German camp.

Brazilians were living in fear - now their hopes are alive
In the wake of Neymar's injury against Colombia, which saw him ruled out of rest of the tournament, it felt like lifting the World Cup had become an impossible goal.

Now though, just a few days later, it seems like the dream is again alive.

There is a realisation that the dynamic of the team has to change, and that may actually be a good thing. Before there was a massive dependence on Neymar for anything creative - probably more than Argentina and Lionel Messi - and when Neymar faded out of matches, like he did in the second half against Chile (in the second round) Brazil had little to offer.

Now players like Fred, Oscar and Hulk will have to take more responsibility, and if that attacking trio rise to the occasion, anything is possible.

"Those players, especially Oscar, were living in the shadow of Neymar," said one television host here. "Now they have to shine themselves."

Brazil hope for C+ against Germany
In the Portuguese language, Germany is called Alemanha. Now one local television station has started calling the European country 'C-Alemanha'.

The theory goes that Brazil is invincible against the countries that begin with the letter C at this World Cup. They beat Croatia and Cameroon in the group stage, then Chile and most recently Colombia. Now they want to take down 'Calemanha' tomorrow, followed by 'Cargentina' or 'Cholanda' in the final on Monday.

- NZ Herald

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