Germany vs. Brazil  3 - 2


International friendly preview: Germany v Brazil

9 August 2011 14:16

Germany have an opportunity to win their first match against Brazil since 1993 when the teams meet in Stuttgart on Wednesday.

With Brazil boasting a record five World Cup triumphs and Germany three, they are two of the most successful teams in international football.

The South American side have dominated encounters between the countries down the years - winning 12 matches, drawing five and losing just three from 20 meetings.

One of those Brazil victories included the 2002 World Cup final, with Germany's last triumph a 2-1 win in Cologne 18 years ago.

But the midweek friendly at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena is arguably Germany's best chance in decades to improve on their sorry record.

Since succeeding Jurgen Klinsmann as Germany coach in 2006, Joachim Loew has crafted one of the most entertaining teams in world football.

Germany were losing finalists to Spain at the 2008 European Championships, before also coming unstuck against the Iberians in the semi-finals of last year's World Cup in South Africa.

They top Group A of Euro 2012 qualifying by 11 points and are expected to challenge for the title at next year's finals in the Ukraine and Poland.

Loew has benefited from the emergence of a host of talented youngsters from the Bundesliga, including midfielders Mezut Oezil and Sami Khedira - now both at Real Madrid - as well as Thomas Muller, Marko Marin and Kevin Grosskreutz.

As always, there is no shortage of exciting youth in Brazilian football, but the disciplined, enterprising outfit manufactured by Loew is undoubtedly the envy of Brazil coach Mano Menezes.

The 49-year-old succeeded Dunga in July last year following Brazil's quarter-final exit from the World Cup.

Despite not being the Brazilian Football Federation's first choice for the role, Menezes impressed initially, introducing exciting young talents in the form of Neymar, Ganso and David Luiz.

But Brazil's poor performance at last month's Copa America, culminating in a quarter-final penalty-shootout defeat to Paraguay, led the country's notoriously demanding media to sharpen their knives just 12 months into Menezes' reign.

All of which means Wednesday's meeting - far from being a meaningless friendly - is a chance for the Brazil revival to get back on track, while Germany go looking for long overdue revenge against their fellow heavyweights.

One man who might be expected to experience mixed emotions on the night is Stuttgart's Brazilian-born striker Cacau, a naturalised German called up to the squad to face his countrymen, and in his home stadium no less.

"It's a dream to play against the land of my birth," the 30-year-old said.

"It will be a special feeling."

But there is no doubting where Cacau's loyalties lie.

After revealing he requested 60 tickets for friends and families, the would-be debutant said: "I told them I'd only give them the tickets if they supported Germany."