Germany coach Joachim Loew said he understood the shock and pain that Brazil were feeling on Tuesday after their 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat on home soil, recalling how the Germans felt in 2006 when they lost to Italy at the same stage.
"We were shocked too and experienced the same thing in 2006," Loew told German TV. "They were shocked and didn't expect to fall behind. And after that it was an easy match for us."
Loew, who was Juergen Klinsmann's assistant coach in 2006 when they were beaten by Italy 2-0 in extra time, said he thought the enormous pressure on the hosts could end up being a burden. "We had great hopes in 2006 too and you can feel the pressure that the hosts have in a match like this," Loew said. "All 200 million people here want you to get to the final. That can cause your players to tighten up. I feel sorry for him (Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari). I think I know how he feels."
Loew was pleased that his team saved their best effort in the World Cup for the Brazil match, a rout that wiped away memories of the tense 2-1 last-16 win over Algeria which triggered widespread criticism back home. "Five goals in 18 minutes - it's clear that they were shocked and didn't know what to do," he said. "Everyone did their job today with a lot of concentration. But this has to continue. We need to stay humble. We don't want to over-rate this. We have to stay concentrated until Sunday."
Loew said he had no preference on playing Argentina or the Netherlands in the final. "We're obviously going to celebrate a bit tonight but we have to start focusing right away tomorrow on the next match," he said. "But I'm not worried about that. The players all have their feet firmly on the ground and they won't let this (win) go to their heads."
(Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum, editing by Ed Osmond)