France and Germany square off for the World Cup quarterfinals this Friday (4 July) at 1 PM at the Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro). Between the two of them, the contenders count four world titles, a historic rivalry that goes way beyond the four lines and a whole array of football stars - including Benzema, Pogba and Lloris on the French side and Müller, Özil, Schweinsteiger and Neuer on the German side.
While the French may have arrived in the World Cup a somewhat discredited squad, their performances, especially against Honduras, Switzerland and Nigeria, consolidated confidence in the team and confirmed Les Bleus as bona fide title contenders. Perhaps that is why coach Didier Deschamps does not see much pressure on the group. “There is no reason to be tense. We have a quarterfinals match against an experienced, strong rival, but it is a pleasure to play a duel like that, and we are preparing in the best way," he said during the press conference on the eve of the match.
On the other hand, Germany, who came in as one of the favorites to lift the Cup, has yet to show the full potential of the team, at least in the opinion of coach Joachim Löw. “We have not shown our best so far. We played against Ghana and USA, who had nothing to lose, which makes things more difficult. It was the game of their lives, and that is a psychological advantage. From the point of view of football, I believe no national team has yet reached their full potential. It is not easy to achieve that in a World Cup. When we look at the teams who qualified for the quarterfinals, none passed the previous stage with ease”.
This will be the third time France and Germany face off in World Cup history. The first duel was in the third place match of the 1958 World Cup, which the French won by 6-3. Germany triumphed on the other two occasions, eliminating France in the semifinals of 1982 after a 3-3 draw in regulation time (5-4 win in the penalty shootout) and in 1986 with a 2-0 win.
Special operation for the match
The city of Rio decreed a full public holiday in the city to reduce traffic flow, minimize possible inconveniences to the population and reduce the time required to get to the stadium. The match starts at 1 PM at the Maracanã, and Brazil plays Colombia in Fortaleza at 5 PM for the other match of the day.
The roads surrounding the Maracanã will be blocked for traffic 8 hours before the match (5 AM). They will be reopened two hours after the end of the match (including overtime and penalty shootout, if they occur).
Only fans with tickets will be able to circulate within a 800 m radius of the stadium.
As has been the case with all World Cup matches in Rio de Janeiro, the recommendation is to prioritize the use of public transport. Subway, trains and ferries will allow passengers to board for free beginning at 11 AM.
Ticketed fans who depart from the city's north and south zones may use lines 1 and 2 of the subway for free. Transfers between the two lines can be made at all stations in the section between the Central and Botafogo stations.
To facilitate travel to the stadium, fans should choose the station to disembark according to their specific gate of entry - there are signs with information in the subway system itself. All the stations are within a ten-minute walk from the stadium, and the route will be marked with signs installed by the city.
Those with tickets for entry through gates A (blue tickets), B and C (yellow tickets) must disembark at the Maracanã station - where there is an integration station for the metropolitan train system. The São Cristóvão station is the best for those who will need to enter through gates E and F (green). Fans accessing the stadium through gate D (red) should disembark at the São Francisco Xavier station.
Fans leaving from the Tom Jobim International Airport (Galeão) or from the city's west zone can use the Transcarioca BRT to get to the Maracanã. There will be express buses leaving from the Alvorada terminal, from Barra da Tijuca, from the Fundão and from the airport. Passengers must disembark at the Vicente de Carvalho station and integrate with the subway (line 2) at the same location.
Those arriving at the Santos Dumont Airport on the day of the match can also catch a free bus to the Cinelândia station in the city center and take the subway to the arena.
The Rio Fan Fest, which has already received 630,528 people in Copacabana, reopens this Friday at 11 am and will broadcast both matches. Musical attractions include the percussion section of the Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel Samba School, the Carrossel de Emoções carnival block and Brazilian 80's band Blitz. Maximum capacity is for 20 thousand people simultaneously, and the gates are closed when that number is reached. Admission is free, and the Fan Fest is open until 10 PM.