World Cup 2014: Lothar Matthaus praises Joachim Low's decision to swap 'attractive and beautiful' football for a more resolute and pragmatic approach

Matthaus believes the team with the best defence will win the 2014 World Cup

Germany's decision to swap style for pragmatism could land Joachim Low's team a first World Cup since 1990, according to the man who captained the national side to that triumph.

Lothar Matthaus believes Germany, who face Brazil on Tuesday in their fourth successive World Cup semi-final, are more defensively resolute than the side that produced thrilling, flowing football four years ago - and that change could make the difference.

Germany were relatively untroubled by France in a 1-0 win in the quarter-finals, where there was little flair but plenty of resolve.

Matthaus said: "If you want to become world champion you have to win matches, and that means ugly victories too. In previous World Cups we have always had those kind of games.

"We have become spoiled over the last eight years with such a technically stylish team and you did not expect this from Germany.

 

"Now it is no longer as attractive and beautiful as it was in 2010 but it is more oriented towards having a stronger defence - there is a saying in Germany that the defence wins titles and the attackers get all the glory.

"I expect even more from them against Brazil. The team played a good game against France but the real face of the German team will show itself against Brazil and possibly in the final.

Lothar Matthaus pictured at the Bundesliga fixture between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich Lothar Matthaus pictured at the Bundesliga fixture between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich "Low has been playing with [Mesut] Ozil on the left, which is not a position he is familiar with, and no number nine but these tight matches are coming our way, we saw that against France, and other things become important."

Brazil will of course be missing their star player Neymar, after he suffered a fractured vertebrae, as well as suspended captain Thiago Silva but Matthaus said not too much should be read in to their absence - and that he grieved for Neymar not being able to play.

He added: "No German fan or player is happy about Neymar being injured, the spirit of fair play does not allow for that and we are here to play against the best players in the world and so it is bad that such a good player has been hurt.

"We will face the fact the Brazil still has other excellent players and although you cannot replace Neymar just like that, it will be the team's job to make up for him not being there.

"Thiago Silva is easier to replace and Dante will probably come in and he's used to this kind of pressure playing for Bayern Munich."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital