Maradona: Brazil should copy Argentina

The legend says that the host nation must be prepared to "die on the pitch" and follow his team's example from the 1990 World Cup final when several key men were absent
Diego Maradona believes that Brazil should take a leaf out of Argentina's book when they face Germany in the World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

The host nation have been dealt a considerable blow by the loss of captain Thiago Silva through suspension and star man Neymar, who misses the rest of the tournament with a broken vertebra.

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The Selecao's plight has brought back memories of the 1990 World Cup final for Maradona, when his Argentina side faced Germany without four of their main men.

"Claudio Caniggia and Ricardo Giusti were suspended. We had lost four of our first-team players due to cards and injuries," Maradona remembered, writing for the Times of India.

"Despite that, we were fighting like tigers when Mexican referee Edgardo Codesal sent Pedro Monzon off in the 65th minute after a dive by Jurgen Klinsmann.

"We finished the match with nine when Gustavo Dezotti was sent off. Germany won on a penalty that was never there. Although we lost, we resisted for as long as we could.

"You have to give it your all when you are in this situation. Brazil can definitely take a leaf out of our book and show they are ready to die on the pitch in Belo Horizonte."

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Brazil defeated Germany in the 2002 World Cup final - a game which the European nation contested without their talisman Michael Ballack. A 2-0 defeat duly followed but Maradona believes that it would be wise for the Selecao to remember the Germans' approach to that game, while pointing to the return of Luiz Gustavo as a big boost to their chances.

He continued: "When these two teams met in the final in 2002, Germany were in a similar state as Michael Ballack was suspended. Brazil won convincingly with Ronaldo and Rivaldo having a very good game.

"Yet they had to wait to break the deadlock. The Germans were ready to die for the cause but faltered when their inspirational leader Oliver Kahn made a mistake. The fight they had put up was remarkable and Brazil will do well to remember that. The good news for them is Gustavo is back.

"They must stay close to each other in defence and midfield and play a compact game."