Brazil 1-7 Germany is part of 90min's 20 Greatest Matches of the Decade series.

You would think that for a game to class as one of the best of the decade - a decade that has yielded ten club seasons, three World Cups and two European Championships - it would have to exist as a contest beyond about the 25th minute.

Sure, there can be good games that get blown out of the water before they even start, but to rank as one of the best over a remarkable ten-year period, you'd think it would have to carry at least a semblance of suspense.

That's what you'd think, until you sit back and watch the highlights of Germany's 2014 World Cup semi-final with Brazil in Belo Horizonte. 


The hosts had the nation believing heading into this one. They had rampaged through their group with thumping wins over Croatia and Cameroon, and though their route to the semis wasn't exactly convincing - requiring penalties to overcome Chile before edging out an impressive Colombia side 2-1 - it was poised to be their year.

Standing in their way was a Germany side who drew clear parallels, advancing with relative comfort through their group before tightly-contested wins over Algeria and France. They were stinging from third-placed finishes in 2006 and 2010, and having exited the Euros two years earlier at the semi-final stage, the narrative surrounding the Germans suggested they were fast-becoming the nearly-men of the international stage.

Heading in, then, something had to give. With both sides so far undefeated, we'd either have the romance of Brazil going all the way on home turf, booking a potential Clásico del Atlántico with Argentina in the final, or we'd see Germany bucking the trend to put themselves in the running for a first major trophy in a now-unfathomable 18 years.

Philipp Lahm,Sami Khedira,Miroslav Klose

The game kicked off at 17.00 local time, and by 17.25, Joachim Löw's men had thoroughly redefined themselves in the eyes of the world.

Previously typecast as the regimented, meticulous, efficient-if-not-exactly-fluid footballing bad guys, the world watched in disbelief as they produced a breathtaking brand of aesthetically delightful football that seemed more like the great Brazil sides of the 1960s and 70s than any modern European hopefuls.

Taking on their hosts at the game they made famous, Brazil had no answer, and knocked on to their heels by ​Thomas Müller's 11th-minute opening goal, they flinched at every turn. The ​Bayern man converted a corner by ​Toni Kroos, sparking a rout unlike anything seen before or since at this stage of a major international tournament.


The lead would be doubled when Müller received a pass from Kroos in the area, before seamlessly sending it back where it came from with a backheel that found a wonderfully-disguised run from Miroslav Klose. On 15 goals at World Cups, the striker took two bites at the cherry, but converted a rebound after a save from Julio Cesar to make history as the top scorer in the history of the tournament.

From there, the goals rained. Kroos made it three with a technically perfect low finish from the edge of the area, before robbing Fernandinho and racing into the space vacated by David Luiz, playing a one-two with Sami Khedira that sold Cesar down the river, slotting home. By the half-hour mark, it would be five thanks to a Khedira strike.

Brazil were reacting to Germany's tidy, razor-sharp passing in the final third as if they were controlled by a 12-year-old playing FIFA for the first time; they had no way of reading anything beyond what was happening directly before their eyes.

David Luiz

The Germans, meanwhile, seemed to be seeing the game unfold five passes ahead, and were toying with their hosts like a grizzly bear with fatally-wounded prey. They had won the World Cup semi-final with an hour to spare, and they knew it. But they were not relenting. 

The flow of goals did subside until Andre Schurrle emerged from the bench midway through a second half in which Brazil were intent on saving some face, but the damage done to Dante and Luiz's confidence at the heart of the defence had been terminal. 

Then-Chelsea winger Schurrle went on to add two further goals to the tally, converting Philipp Lahm's cross from the right before powering an effort in off the bar that was worthy of winning any World Cup; but paled in significance thanks to the preternatural performance of his team. 

Andre Schuerrle,David Luiz

The home fans, who had been devastated beyond tears by what they were seeing, had something to cheer when Oscar got the better of Jerome Boateng - who was clearly already in celebration-mode judging by the standard of his defending - and finished off to pull one back.

But the referee's whistle would soon put Scolari's men out of their misery, and leave the rest of us gasping for breath and wondering what in the nine realms we had just watched.

Germany went on to win the final 1-0 over Argentina, and defined largely by this one semi-final victory, Löw wrote his name into the history books as the mastermind behind a true golden generation of talent. 

Joachim Loew

Brazil went on to finish fourth after a 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands in the third-placed playoff, and Scolari did not take charge of another match.

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