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Brazil tries to get Thiago Silva back

By Patrick Johnston

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil launched a desperate appeal to have skipper Thiago Silva's ban for their World Cup semi-final against Germany overturned on Sunday but Argentine hopes of seeing Angel Di Maria in action were ended by injury.

Doctors confirmed Di Maria will miss the semi-final against the Netherlands because of a thigh problem but did not rule the winger out of being fit for the final should Argentina prevail in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.

"Angel has a Grade 1 injury. Of course he won't play in Argentina's next game. After that, we'll evaluate the situation day-by-day," team doctor Daniel Martinez told reporters.

Brazil captain Thiago Silva was also expected to miss the semi-finals after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament in the 2-1 win over Colombia in the last eight on Friday.

The central defender was cautioned for needlessly blocking keeper David Ospina as he was taking a kick and FIFA said they were analyzing an appeal from the Brazilian Football Association.

His presence in the team on Tuesday would be a huge fillip for a Brazilian public still reeling from the loss of talismanic striker Neymar, who was ruled out of the rest of the tournament after fracturing a vertebra in the win over Colombia.

That incident continued to appear on Sunday's sports news bulletins on local television but Brazil's former World Cup winning captain Carlos Alberto Torres hoped it might end up being a good omen for the current squad.

The 1970 skipper recalled how Amarildo and Garrincha had stepped up to fill the void left by an injury to Pele in 1962 and helped steer Brazil to the title.

"In the 1962 World Cup, we lost Pele," he told Sportv. "Maybe someone will wake up and become the Garrincha of 1962."

Germany were sure Neymar's absence would not weaken the challenge facing them in Belo Horizonte, with Bastian Schweinsteiger expecting Brazil to draw strength from the adversity suffered by their posterboy.

Schweinsteiger's coach Joachim Loew, however, was more concerned about the methods Brazil might use in the mouth-watering last four clash, wary of a repeat of the tough tackling that marked their win over Colombia.

"There's precious little left of that traditional Brazilian style of soccer, that artistic style of playing that we all know so well," Loew said in an interview at his team's base camp on the Atlantic coast.

"For sure, Brazil still have good technical players. But they're playing more robustly than any other team here and they have been trying to break up their opponent's attack that way."

Brazil have made no apology for the 31 fouls they committed against Colombia and Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul was another quarter-final victor unrepentant for his actions.

Krul replaced first-choice keeper Jasper Cillessen specifically for the quarter-final shootout against Costa Rica, staring down his opponents and yelling at them as they prepared to shoot.

The gamesmanship resulted in him saving Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana's spot-kicks to set up the last four clash with Argentina.

"I didn't shout anything nasty at them. I just told them that I knew where they were going. I'm trying obviously to get in their heads and it worked," he said.

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mygailbaby July 07 2014 at 8:49 AM

Keep the ban or prepare to have every ban appealed. Why should they get special consideration in cases where other nations have suffered similarly?

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1 reply
mdcpbd mygailbaby July 07 2014 at 12:54 PM

A very good and equitable point of observation, I'd comment (say)

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Ana Maria Moron July 07 2014 at 9:44 AM

Brazil don't deserve to have the decision overturned. They played nasty and that is not a sport. If Fifa aloud that they are paying them for the game.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
1 reply
mdcpbd Ana Maria Moron July 07 2014 at 12:52 PM

That is by all account a speculation from your view point.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
rantaki2001 July 07 2014 at 9:10 AM

The Brazilians took Soccer for A UFC match and they are very good at it of course with the help of the crooked referees they got away with it. Brazil should have received a stern warning by FIFA from the start of the world cup. Results would have been totally different. This is plenty proof that MONEY exchanged hands!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
pe12427 July 07 2014 at 8:55 AM

As an American Football fan I fine some of the issued yellow cards ridiculous - they should just play on.
However; the Silva card was well deserved. It was the football equivalent of a play being over and a player going back to his huddle and taking a shot at the other teams quarterback on his way. Even the Brazil coach was obviously discussed with unnecessary Silva's action.

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denoferth July 07 2014 at 10:09 AM

Hay, Brazil! If you didn't have this psychopathic imbecile playing dirty on your team you wouldn't be in this position. Now you got caught, AGAIN, so stop crying like a little girl and take your punishment like a man . You DO have one or two on your team, don't you?

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jrp1947 July 07 2014 at 1:15 PM

sounds more like gangs than teams with South America. Any team with that many fouls should be booted from the tournament. There is not one legitimate excuse for biting an opponent. A bite should disqualify a player for the whole tournament. The team with the most fouls among the winners at the end of each round should be kicked out of the tournament. this sport is like a sport of human dogs because they act like a pack of animals and not humans in some countries. Brazil should have been kicked out of this tournament and if not that then the next one for sure. the coaching staff must have condoned the acts and should suffer for it as a team.

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1 reply
pasgetty jrp1947 July 07 2014 at 5:09 PM

Be careful generalizing. Although you may be right about Brazil and Uruguay, your comments don't apply to every South American team.

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ranger197172 July 07 2014 at 12:41 PM

Maybe they should convince him to act like he is a person instead of an animal.

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I LOVE YOU JENNY July 07 2014 at 5:53 PM

The bench is where Silva belongs!!!!!!!!

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ablueyddommaine July 07 2014 at 6:08 PM

Keep that freak off the field, he is a sick man

Flag Reply 0 rate up
pasgetty July 07 2014 at 5:01 PM

Colombia would have probably won if Brazil had played a clean game. Brazil should not get any breaks. Just as every other team, they should suffer the consequences of their dirty corrupt way of playing.

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