Germany’s jubilation at their historic 7-1 World Cup semi-final win over Brazil was kept in check by the realisation that their ambitions will be unfulfilled if they do not triumph in Sunday’s final.
Toni Kroos scored twice in the Estadio Mineirao, as did Andre Schurrle, while there was a goal each for Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira, and a record-breaking strike for Miroslav Klose.
Klose said the Germany team had not gone overboard in their celebrations, mindful that they have an even bigger challenge in store against Holland or Argentina.
Kroos said: “We are here to become world champions but no one becomes world champions in the semi-final and there is still and extremely difficult step - this was the feeling in a dressing room.
“Sure, when do you win a World Cup semi-final 7-1... but we still have one more match to go.
“We have to deliver another absolutely top performance otherwise we will lose the final - and I am convinced we will win.”
Germany coach Joachim Low believes Brazil cracked under the pressure of being hosts.
Low said: “Let’s put it into context: the hosts were unable to deal with the pressure.
“We had a clear, persistent game-plan and if we were courageous and believed in our own strengths, we would win this match.
“That the result would be so emphatic was not to be expected. Scoring three in four minutes the hosts were in shock, confused, and never returned to their original organisation. We were extremely cool and realised they were cracking up, and we took advantage of that.”
Low said Germany must turn their attention to Sunday’s final, and that he understood what Brazil must now be going through.
He added: “We’ve won this match. We’re in the final of the World Cup, against a different opponent. We were lucky that the hosts were shell-shocked. Now we must prepare well for the final.
“I remember once losing to Italy in Germany when everyone wanted us to go to the final. We lost in the 119th minute back in 2006, so we knew how Scolari feels, how the Brazilian team feel, and the people in Brazil feel right now.”
Low also paid tribute to Klose, who scored his 16th World Cup goal to become the highest scorer in tournament history.
“It means a lot to all of us,” said Low. “This is a record that might only be beaten by Thomas Muller. It’s something great. He’s still dangerous at his age, playing at the highest possible level.”