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Schweinsteiger issues rallying cry to referees

The host nation have come under scrutiny for their aggressive tactics, particularly in a 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia where they committed 31 fouls.

Brazil appeared to target James Rodriguez in particular, with the talented attacker on the receiving end of some poor challenges.

Some have suggested, too, that Colombia's sense of injustice may have led to Juan Zuniga's hard challenge on Neymar - which left Brazil's star with a broken vertebra and ended his tournament.

Schweinsteiger, likely to be in the Germany XI that will tackle the five-time champions in Tuesday's semi-final, has called on the officials to stamp it out.

He said: "I am all for a healthy hardness but some of Brazil's fouls were over the limit.

"Brazilians are not only football magicians; hard tackling is part of their game - we have to be careful and so does the referee."