Brazil men’s football coach Rogerio Micale is playing down talk that his young team will seek revenge for the senior side’s mauling by Germany in the last World Cup when the teams meet in the Olympic final on Saturday.
Germany humiliated Brazil 7-1 in front of a home crowd in the World Cup semi-final in 2014. The result was a terrible blow not just for the team but the whole nation, and their supporters are now desperate for a victory in the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro to help heal the wounds.
“That was the World Cup. This is the Olympic team. Neymar never played in that match so there is nothing that could generate any type of feeling that we have to take revenge. It is a different time with different players,” Micale said.
“The supporters are playing their role and we will need the supporters as this is a very strong German team. The supporters will want what they want, but there is no link between that match and this one.”
“I am sure the final with Germany will be a great match but it has nothing to do with the past.”
In truth, the two sides are completely different from those that met that fateful day in Belo Horizonte. Brazil captain Neymar is the only player on either squad to have played in the last World Cup and he missed the semi-final through injury.
The Olympic teams are mostly made up of players under the age of 23, with three overage players permitted on each team.
“We know the German team have a consistent system of playing and try to keep control of the match by keeping possession. They are a dangerous team so we will have to pay attention to them,” Micale said.
“But we cannot just forget our very essence and that we have players with the ability to change a game in one moment of brilliance. That is why so many teams from Europe come down to South America to get our players.”
Germany appear to have placed less importance on the Olympics.
Bundesliga clubs have not been obliged to release their top stars. Their three overage players have just 26 full caps between them, while Brazil’s three have 81.
Asked how the young and inexperienced German players would deal with the hostility from the Brazilian fans, Germany coach Horst Hrubesch said: “What could be a greater experience for a young player than to be here at the Maracana for the final of an Olympic Games, playing in front of nearly 80,000 people? We have experienced players who will help them.”
“It will be a great experience for them. By getting to the final we have been successful already; now we will try to win the game.
He also preferred not to cast the showdown as a grudge match.
“What counts is this game, the Olympic final. It is different teams and we are here to live our dream right to the end,” Hrubesch said.