• Germany's news in English

Germany to face Italy in semi-final

The Local · 25 Jun 2012, 14:03

Published: 25 Jun 2012 14:03 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Defeat against Italy would be a rude shock for Germany having swept aside every team they have faced so far, including Portugal, whom they beat 1-0, and won all their qualifiers.

Victory in the final would complete a process begun before the 2006 World Cup under Jürgen Klinsmann and which has been taken on leaps and bounds since then by his former assistant Joachim Löw.

While Löw has shown a fearlessness - some said recklessness - in bringing in a trio of fresh attacking players for the quarter-final with Greece.

It would nonetheless be a relief that his chief playmaker Bastian Schweinsteiger looks set to be given the all-clear for Thursday's Euro 2012 semi-final against Italy with midfield partner Mesut Özil emphasising how much the Germans "need him".

The 27-year-old Schweinsteiger has been struggling to recover from an ankle injury and was below-par in Friday's 4-2 win over Greece. He is considered a key element in the German bid to win Euro 2012.

Germany play Italy in the semi-final in Warsaw on Thursday and the Bayern Munich star is expected to be fit to face the Azzurri.

"He has problems with the ankle, which has been treated intensively in the last few days, we assume he will be fit to play," said Germany's goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke on Monday.

Having torn ankle ligaments in February, Schweinsteiger admitted Sunday the joint had still not fully recovered, but Özil said he is needed against the Azzurri.

"We need Schweinsteiger, He is a class player and one of our leaders," said Real Madrid star Özil after Schweinsteiger set up both Germany's goals in their 2-1 win over Holland in their second group match.

"He has been injured, but I think he is on a good track. You could see how important he is for the team in our match against Holland (a 2-1 victory in the group stage), I am keeping my fingers crossed he will play."

Italy have shown a spirit and an attacking philosophy at odds with their usual style at major finals and in 33-year-old Andrea Pirlo they perhaps have the player of the tournament so far, whose radar-like passing and vision is almost unparalleled.

However, with less time to rest and prepare for Germany after a gruelling, if deserved penalty shoot-out win over England, it will take something special to stop the Germans.

While Germany have produced a string of vibrant and eye-catching performances as they seek their first title in 16 years, the Spanish may have been clinical, yet have not looked the unbeatable force of both four years ago and the 2010 World Cup.

That latter theory will be the first to be put to the test as the Spaniards take on their Iberian rivals Portugal in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Wednesday.

Portugal will not be the same tame side that Spain beat 1-0 in the second round of the 2010 World Cup, instead a confident outfit under Paulo Bento, who replaced the uninspiring Carlos Queiroz early in the Euro qualifying campaign.

What has rounded the circle for them has been that Cristiano Ronaldo, who terrorises club defences around Europe, has finally surfaced and begun to bury the impression that he fails to perform at the same level for the national side.

Three goals and outstanding performances in the last two games against the hapless Dutch and a defensive-minded Czech Republic have given Ronaldo the momentum he requires to tackle an altogether more imposing opponent in the Spanish.

But fullback Joao Pereira, whom Bento gave his debut at the relatively late age of 26 and has impressed at the tournament, said that aside from the individual brilliance of Ronaldo the team has a unity that gives it great strength.

Story continues below…

"Each side has a 50 percent chance (of qualifying for the final)," said the former Sporting Lisbon defender, who signed for La Liga outfit Valencia in May for a reported €3.5 million euros.

"We must have a healthy respect for Spain but we are not going to respect them too much because we, too, have great players of great value to us."

Spain disposed of France with the minimum of fuss and yet again Vicente del Bosque's decision not to start with a recognised striker paid off, as defensive midfielder Xabi Alonso scored both goals.

However, of more concern to Del Bosque is that his rivals will have had more time to rest and begin preparing for the semi-final.

"We are going to recuperate well (but) this 48 hours difference between games compared with our rivals is a bit of a handicap. We suffered in the heat and that's tough on players at this time of year," said Del Bosque.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:52 June 25, 2012 by federicoscala
It will be nice to beat again Germany, after 1970, 1981 and 2006. But I think this time Germany have an edge over Italy. Let's see how it goes...
16:39 June 25, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Please God, let us have a sensible referee for this match against the Italians. Let him not be fooled by their shameless dives and crocodile tears-- and the way they roll around on the ground like they`re being tazed when they haven`t even been touched.

If only it were possible for them to square off against the Canadian national ice hockey team, then the screams would be for real and the red cards would be deserved. Wo bleibt der S-A-N-I ???


I love Italy but the Azuri are a bunch of hair-band wearing heul-divas. ;)
20:10 June 25, 2012 by mattheww
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:57 June 25, 2012 by NarineS
LOL @ Leo, thanks for the laugh! i almost spat my coffee (laughing) especially at the ice hockey part ..good one!
07:03 June 26, 2012 by ahmed74
I am going for Germany (even before start of tournament)

I am waiting for big match Germany Italy semifinal

Spain will not win either Portugal or Germany will beat them

Germany will win Euro 2012

I went for Germany in 2006 world cup and Italy beat them in semifinal

IT was one of the best match and i could not forget last 3 minutes of this game when italy scored two goals

I did wait for this match almost 6 years

Joachim Löw is the best (Coach)

Now it¦#39;s time to win

Go Germany
11:54 June 26, 2012 by CF104muscrat90
Germany is too strong for the Italians,3 - 1 to Germany.

There are some fine players in the German team, but it's Ozil for me, he oozes Class. Neuer is proving what a good keeper he is and I think he'll go on to surpass Maier & Kaan.
14:24 June 26, 2012 by Peepopaapo
Let us all wait and see...
Today's headlines
Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Eurowings union threatens cabin crew strike for Thursday
Photo: DPA.

A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will start as of Thursday if ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd