PORTO SEGURO, Brazil (AP) — Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger thinks Brazil has crossed the line with some of its hard tackling ahead of the World Cup semifinals and is urging referees to keep a closer eye on the host team.
"I am all for a healthy hardness but some of Brazil's fouls were over the limit," Schweinsteiger said. "Brazilians are not only football magicians, hard tackling is part of their game — we have to be careful and so does the referee."
Brazil committed 31 fouls in its quarterfinal win over Colombia, which had 23. But it was one particular Colombian foul, by Juan Zuniga, which overshadowed the others because it took out Neymar with a fractured vertebra and knocked the Brazilian attacking talisman out of the tournament.
Brazil has committed 96 fouls in five games, significantly more than Germany's 57. Brazil players have received 10 yellow cards, six more than German players.
"Brazil is an outstanding team that plays at the limit of the allowed and will go over the limit if necessary," Germany assistant coach Hansi Flick told reporters on Sunday. He said the absence of the injured star could help galvanize the Brazil squad for Tuesday's match in Belo Horizonte.
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