After 45 minutes of obliterating the Brazilian defense en route to a 5-0 halftime lead in the World Cup semifinals, the Germans made a pledge to show respect to the host nation in order to not embarrass them.
“We just made it clear that we had to stay focused and not try to humiliate them,” defender Mats Hummels said to The Daily Mail, following the 7-1 train wreck. “We said we had to stay serious and concentrate at halftime. … You have to show the opponent respect and it was very important that we did this and didn't try to show some magic or something like this,” he added.
Naturally, having agreed to show “respect” to a reeling Brazilian side, the Germans scored two more goals after halftime. Perhaps substitute Andre Schurrle wasn't privy to this conversation as he bagged two more, the second of which set a record for most goals in a World Cup semifinal.
Even with the halftime pledge, it was still a massive embarrassment -- probably more so than when Brazil lost the 1950 World Cup finals to Uruguay at Maracana Stadium in front of 200,000 people. Tuesday's semifinal result can be attributed to a ton of factors, beginning with the absence of Brazil's best defender, Thiago Silva. It's simply too difficult to ask David Luiz, Maicon and Marcelo to adjust on the fly, especially against a team of Germany's caliber. Brazil was already dispirited without Neymar, but Silva's absence was the one that left a glaring hole in its defensive third. The German's picked it apart like chicken off the bone.
The only issue for Germany is whether the 7-1 pounding might lead to an inflated ego against Argentina in the finals. Hummels, as expected, dismissed that theory, though.
“The game does not have any impact on the final because it will be a totally different game. It was nice how it went, but it will be no problem keeping our feet on the ground.”