Bastian Schweinsteiger says Germany are ‘deeply saddened’ by the injury to Neymar and believes Brazil will be determined to win the World Cup for their injured talisman.
Germany take on Brazil in the opening semifinal in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday but the hosts will be without Neymar after he suffered a back injury against Colombia to rule him out of the tournament.
Schweinsteiger thinks it is a shame that such a world-class player will not be able to take his place on the big stage, and does not necessarily think it will work to Germany’s advantage as he expects Brazil to find added inspiration.
"We’re all feeling deeply saddened that he won’t be able to play," said the Germany midfielder about Neymar.
"It’s always best when the greatest players are on the pitch for the great matches. I think his team-mates are going to rally around even more now with him out, and they’ll want to win the World Cup for him. They’ll derive strength from that."
"The loss of Neymar can create strength and weld together the team."
Brazil’s performances may not have been thrilling but Schweinsteiger is ready for a tough test against a team that has had phenomenal support.