Two of our players hoping to be involved as Brazil and Germany bid for a place in the World Cup final have been looking ahead to tomorrow’s game in Belo Horizonte.
Willian is yet to start a game in the competition, but looks like being the biggest beneficiary of the injury to Neymar which has ruled Brazil’s talisman out of the competition.
Having impressed during the friendlies ahead of the tournament, Willian is favourite to get the nod ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk’s Bernard, and the Chelsea winger, despite picking up a knock in training at the weekend, is determined to help Brazil overcome a strong Germany side if called upon.
‘I am feeling great. I was hurt on my left side in training (on Saturday) and it bothers me a bit but it is nothing significant and it won’t stop me training,’ he said.
Willian, who impressed during his first season at Stamford Bridge, acknowledged the significance of Neymar’s absence, but remains confident Brazil can go on and win a sixth World Cup for their injured team-mate.
‘Neymar sets the standard for us. He is capable of deciding any game, so playing without him will be difficult,’ said Willian.
‘We know the quality that we have. We are all very sad at losing him but we are now even stronger after what happened and we can continue to pursue our dream.’
Andre Schurrle, meanwhile, believes his inside knowledge of Brazil’s Chelsea contingent – as well as the recently-departed David Luiz – could go a long way to helping Germany secure a first World Cup final appearance since 2002.
Schurrle, like Willian, is yet to start a game in the tournament, but he has been used regularly as an impact substitute, and scored the crucial opening goal in their 2-1 extra-time win over Algeria.
‘Of course, if somebody asks me how to play against Oscar or David Luiz, I’m here to help,’ Schurrle said.
‘We haven’t been in touch during the tournament. We are rivals here so there have not been any text messages.
‘For me it will be cool to play against my Brazilian friends from Chelsea.’
Joachim Low’s side booked their place in the semi-finals with a 1-0 win over France on Friday courtesy of a Mats Hummels header, and Schurrle is confident they can go all the way.
‘We have quality, it’s not just luck or the DNA of the players,’ he said. ‘We have had some tight matches, but we have deserved to win every game we have won. That was the case against France as well.
‘The best thing about the team is that we win. We fight and give everything we have. We have good players and we win in the end, that’s the most important thing.’