Loew calls for end to 'brutal tactics'

[PREVIEW: Brazil-Germany] Rarely has so much attention been placed on a referee in an important match. Mexican Marco Rodriguez is dubbed "Chiqui Dracula" for his resemblance to a Dracula character in Mexican TV and his penchant for disciplining players.

After two consecutive Brazil games marred by excessive fouling, Germany coach Joachim Loew hopes Rodriguez will put a bite into the hosts if their rough stuff continues in Tuesday's semifinal in Belo Horizonte.

The Brazil-Chile match featured 51 fouls and the Brazil-Colombia game was marred by 54 fouls, the most of any match at the 2014 World Cup.

No players were red carded in either game. And FIFA has said it won't sanction Colombian defender Juan Zuniga over the incident that left Neymar with a fractured vertebra and knocked the Brazilian star out of the World Cup.

"In Europe," said Loew on Monday, "there would not be 22 players on the field in the end. It was a bit exaggerated. One has to punish these rustic and brutal tactics. There was maybe 38, 39 minutes of clean playing time."

Storylines ...

BRAZIL. Brazil has only one star, Neymar, but Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is reminding everyone that Brazil has ''22 other players who know they are special.''

''We will miss Neymar's competitiveness, his happiness,'' Scolari said on Monday. "But we have a group of quality players and they can overcome the challenges and help the team advance.''

Scolari has the double problem of having to replace Neymar -- with Willian -- and captain Thiago Silva, who is suspended.

Dante, who bounced around clubs in Brazil, France, Belgium and Germany before making it at Bayern Munich, will likely fill in Thiago Silva, who has confidence in his replacement.

"I know what he's had to overcome to get to this stage," said Thiago Silva, who played with Dante a decade ago at Juventude.

GERMANY. After opening with a 4-0 win over Portugal, the Germans coasted through their next three games. But they played perhaps their best match of the tournament in the quarterfinals, a 1-0 win over France. ''The team is improving from match to match,'' said Loew.

Lothar Matthaeus, who captained Germany to the 1990 title, says the improved defense was evident in shutting down the French, who had been averaging 2.5 goals a game, and will be the key to Germany's title hopes. For the French game, captain Philipp Lahm moved to right back and Jerome Boateng moved into the middle in place of Per Mertesacker.

"We played well against France," said Matthaeus, "but the real face of the German team will show itself against Brazil and possibly in the final."

History ...

Brazil and Germany have won eight World Cups between and finished in the top four 22 times, but they've only met once at the World Cup.

Brazil won, 2-0, on a pair of goals by Ronaldo, who says the 2002 championship team was the best in Brazilian history after the 1970 team. Few would praise the 2002 German team. It's considered the worst of the seven German teams to make the final.

2002 World Cup final (video will click through to You Tube):

Rosters ...

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Gremio).
Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona/SPA), Maicon (Roma/ITA), Marcelo (Real Madrid/SPA), Maxwell (Paris SG/FRA), David Luiz (Chelsea/ENG), Thiago Silva (Paris SG/FRA), Dante (Bayern Munich/GER), Henrique (Napoli/ITA).
Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg/GER), Paulinho (Tottenham/ENG), Ramires (Chelsea/ENG), Fernandinho (Man. City/ENG), Oscar (Chelsea/ENG), Willian (Chelsea/ENG), Hernanes (Inter Milan/ITA), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk/UKR).
Forwards: Fred (Fluminense), Neymar (Barcelona/SPA), Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg/RUS), Jo (Atletico Mineiro).

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal/ENG), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria).
Midfielders: Julian Draxler (Schalke 04), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Christoph Kramer (Borussia M'Gladbach), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid/SPA), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/ENG), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal/ENG), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea/ENG), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio/ITA).
9 comments about "Loew calls for end to 'brutal tactics'".
  1. David V, July 7, 2014 at 10:02 p.m.

    Must get rid of Howard Webb...horrible ref...let the Dutch Butcher the Spanish 4 years ago, and horrible in this tournament... why are they quoting wEBB? He's a horrible offender. Beautiful Brazil is gone... butchers...

  2. charles davenport, July 8, 2014 at 8:55 a.m.

    Webb did Dutch/Spain? wow. then he's consistent.

  3. ROBERT BOND, July 8, 2014 at 8:57 a.m.

    Die Mannschaft won't back off rough play if Brasil starts it, Kroos & Bastien in particular...

  4. Gus Keri, July 8, 2014 at 9:12 a.m.

    It's sad story. When Brazil was granted the right to host the tournament, everybody was happy. They thought the Samba Soccer will flow and make this cup the best ever. Now, we are talking about how Brazil, single-handedly, destroyed the beautiful game on its own turf.

  5. David V, July 8, 2014 at 10:39 a.m.

    amazingly, the Germans followed the Spanish style and Brazil went the other direction... Go Germany! If this tournament had been held in another country, Brazil would have been knocked out very early... very hostile, ugly fan... this is NOT the country nor the teams the world fell in love with in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s... that Brazil is gone

  6. David V, July 8, 2014 at 10:41 a.m.

    Hoping for a Germany-Argentina final... let's avoid the diving Robben

  7. I w Nowozeniuk, July 8, 2014 at 10:46 a.m.

    Gus K, you are on key. Scolari started his problems during the selection process. As for the assigned referees; Marco Rodiguez should have been sent home packing after not responding to the 'bite'. How Webb got on the roster is quite ludicrous after his 2010 final debacle. His BPL report card is not consistent with the laws of the game.

  8. Vendetta diPirlo, July 8, 2014 at 11:53 a.m.

    Lowe (the lion for you monolingual yanks)) should call for an end to incompetent and inconsistent refs. One of Rodriguez's surnames apparently is Moreno which recalls the worst ref of the 2002 WC. How could Rodriguez be called to continue in the WC after his disastrous performance in Italy Uruguay when he expelled Marchisio for far less than anything the Brazilians did against Columbia and James with no sanction against the vampire Suarez.

    Cruyff never won a WC and neither has Holland. If France has one Holland should have one too.

  9. Gunther Charles, July 9, 2014 at 3:18 p.m.

    Can't we just say the much better team has won, Germany was prepared they have taken play serious and perform again. They are also in much better shape and show respect for all. One Team - not one player makes the difference. Why can't you people get this through your noodle?

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