Three years after humiliating host Brazil 7-1 in the FIFA World Cup semi-final, German Football Association vice-president Hans-Dieter Drewitz on Thursday said the absence of an injured Neymar helped his team a lot that day.

“We played so well against Brazil because Neymar was injured. Our boys were in the groove and everything went perfectly for them,” he said about the win in Belo Horizonte en route to winning its fourth World Cup.

The two heavyweights of international football make for a fascinating rivalry at the senior level and while Brazil found itself at the receiving end in 2014, Brazil beat Germany in the final of Rio Olympics to win the gold medal last year.

READ: Messi: It would've been crazy if Argentina missed World Cup

The former Barcelona star became a hero when he scored the winning penalty against the Europeans to hand Brazil its maiden gold medal in men’s football. “We cannot say the result will happen again. In the 2014 World Cup against Brazil, it was something spectacular. But this is not normal.”

Head of the development of football in DFB, Drewitz further said Germany is heading in the right direction. “At the moment we don’t know if we can win the World Cup again. The development of a team is like a roller-coaster, sometimes there is up and sometimes there is down. We want to constantly keep the good level.”

“At the moment we can’t read into the magic ball and we don’t know what is going to happen. But we are working on the fact that our youth teams are always qualifying to the European championships as well as World Cups so that it will help them either to win a title or to win another (senior) World Cup,” he concluded.

Germany will take on Brazil in a big-ticket quarterfinal match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Sunday.