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 Posted by PA Sport
Jul 6, 2014

Schweinsteiger upset by Neymar injury

Brazil need to fill the Neymar void against an efficient German side.

Bastian Schweinsteiger has warned Germany the injury to Neymar could galvanise Brazil ahead of their World Cup semifinal on Tuesday.

- Hesse: Greater expectations for Germany
- Brewin: Greatness may still beckon in Brazil
- Marcotti: Previewing the semifinals
- Honigstein: Low's men coming of age
- Neymar couldn't feel his legs following injury

The host nation's talisman was ruled out of the rest of the tournament after suffering a broken vertebra in a challenge from Colombia's Juan Zuniga during the quarterfinals.

The injury soured the 2-1 win which took Luiz Felipe Scolari's side into the last four, but Schweinsteiger believes the nous of the manager will help make up for Neymar's absence.

"We are all very sad that Neymar can't play," the Bayern Munich midfielder told a news conference. "It is always best if all the big players are on the pitch for the big games.

"But the loss of Neymar can create strength and weld together the Brazilian team.

"They have two experienced coaches [Scolari and assistant manager Flavio Murtosa], who have already both been world champions. I believe that the team which will win the title will have a very clever coach. In addition there is the individual class of each player."

Scolari showed that he could adapt as his changes and tweaks helped Brazil shine vs. Cameroon.
Luiz Felipe Scolari will be key to Brazil's chances against Germany, says Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Germany's assistant coach Hansi Flick added: "Neymar's absence is a loss for Brazil. But they have 200 million fans behind them."

Flick said all 22 available German players were "fit and healthy", with defender Shkodran Mustafi, who has been ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury, the only one missing.

Joachim Low's men have not been entirely convincing in their passage to a fourth straight World Cup semifinal, especially in their round of 16 success over Algeria.

But Schweinsteiger, who said the mood in the camp was "very good" and "very focused" on the match, believes the current team are better than the side which went down to Spain in the last four in 2010.

"The team is another step forward," he said. "Every individual player has developed further at his club. The number of good players has also increased."

Schweinsteiger could come up against his Bayern clubmate Dante on Tuesday, with the defender in line to replace the suspended Thiago Silva, and would relish the challenge.

"I would be happy for him if he plays," Schweinsteiger said. "We know him very well and know his strengths and weaknesses. Of course, he also knows how we play -- except for Thomas Muller. We will never know that very well ourselves!"

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