Scolari and Klose set to relive 2002 World Cup final in semi
In 2002, Germany’s task appeared ginormous. They gave a great account of themselves in the World Cup final against a star-studded Brazil side, which included Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, or more commonly known at the time ‘the three Rs’.
It was a showdown between the world’s best striker and goalkeeper, as Germany captain Oliver Kahn kept out Ronaldo for 67 minutes. The Brazilian’s first goal epitomised what a young player should do today. He followed in Rivaldo’s shot from the edge of the area, anticipating Kahn to parry it. Needless to say when he did, it was into the number nine’s path, who opened the scoring to put his country into the lead.
Ronaldo’s second strike came as a ball across the edge of the box from Kleberson prompted an improvised step-over by Rivaldo and reached the Real Madrid forward. The added time his teammate gave him was enough to find the bottom corner, as his shot agonisingly evaded Kahn.
This time, the two teams meet in the semi-final of the World Cup. Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, once again takes charge of Brazil, having masterminded the victory over Die Mannschaft a dozen years earlier. Miroslav Klose may also feature for Germany, as the only other survivor from the fixture.
Although star player Neymar is out injured, the Samba Boys will be spurred on to win it for the Barcelona forward and that added to home advantage is going to be a formidable combination. One of either Willian or Bernard can effortlessly slip into Neymar’s shoes, who are very much the closest in style to Ronaldinho.
Hosts Brazil are 5/2 to win the tournament for the first time since that victory in 2002, and worth every penny. Against Germany, they are 17/10, and Oscar who has been a lynchpin, and relishes big games is 9/1 to score the first goal.
Germany meanwhile, have floundered at this stage at each of the last two tournaments, so have been found wanting at the penultimate hurdle recently. Thomas Muller has gone off the boil since his four-goal haul early on in the tournament, perhaps reflected by odds of 13/2 for him to score first. They are an unlikely 11/4 to win the World Cup.