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Toni Kroos: Brazil are ‘two grades’ better than 2014

Toni Kroos rates Brazil "two grades" higher than when Germany hammered the 'Seleção' 7-1 at the 2014 World Cup.

Toni Kroos: Brazil are 'two grades' better than 2014
Toni Kroos celebrates after scoring one of Germany's seven goals against Brazil in the 2014 World Cup semi-final. Photo: DPA

Kroos scored twice in the Belo Horizonte semi-final at Brazil 2014 when Germany blitzed the hosts, who were missing superstar forward Neymar, with five goals in a dramatic opening 30 minutes of what became the heaviest home defeat in Brazil's history.

Ahead of the teams' meeting on Tuesday, Germany midfielder Kroos is not expecting a repeat: “When I look at the current team in comparison to 2014, they are two grades better.

“They have really good people, my (Real Madrid) team-mate Casemiro is doing well — they have come together well.

“Brazil is definitely one of the World Cup favourites.”

Germany face Brazil at Berlin's Olympic Stadium after the Seleção beat Russia 3-0 in Moscow on Friday, with Neymar again sidelined by injury.

Second-half goals by Miranda, Paulinho and a Philippe Coutinho penalty sealed the win at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium, which hosts the World Cup final on July 15th.

The Germans warmed up with a 1-1 draw against Spain in Düsseldorf to extend their unbeaten run to 22 matches.

Rodrigo Moreno's goal after just six minutes was cancelled out by Thomas Müller's superb first-half strike on Friday.

With one eye on their World Cup defence, Joachim Löw consoled himself with the “very, very important lessons” Germany learnt, but his senior stars were unhappy.

Centre-back Jerome Boeteng said “everything” was wrong with the opening 20 minutes when Andres Iniesta gave the German midfield a masterclass as Spain dominated.

“Our pressing didn't work, then they played cat and mouse with us,” Boateng fumed.

“We wanted to play better from the back, use our chances, pass well, not lose the ball so fast.

“Our counter-attacking game must be better, we were hit three or four times on the counter, you can't have that.

“It's not all bad, but we have a lot of work and we must come together as a team.”

Kroos agreed: “In the first 20 minutes we were just chasing after them.”

Löw expects to make five changes against Brazil.

Stars Thomas Müller and Mesut Özil have been released, as was previously arranged, to give them a break.

Hertha Berlin left-back Marvin Plattenhardt will play at his home stadium, while Manchester City's Leroy Sané should replace Julian Draxler on the wing.

Ilkay Gundogan is set to replace Sami Khedira, who suffered a back knock against Spain.

The Spanish provided Löw with the tough test he wanted as Germany count down to their first World Cup match against Mexico in Moscow on June 17th.

“It was worth the risk, even when we didn't always manage to put pressure on them up front,” said the Germany boss.

Now comes another 'outstanding test' in the shape of Brazil.

“These are the teams who want to — and can — play a decisive role at the World Cup,” said Löw.

A win over Brazil would boost German confidence following recent draws with England (0-0), France (2-2) and now Spain.

READ ASLO: How to pick a German football team that perfectly suits your character

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British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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