Midfielder Marco Reus said Germany have proved they are the team to beat ahead of Thursday’s Euro 2012 semi-final and insisted the Germans are better than possible opponents England.
Germany trounced Greece 4-2 in Friday’s quarter-final as Reus marked his first start at Euro 2012 with a goal. In the Warsaw semi-final, Germany will face either England or Italy, and while Reus credited England in performing better than had been predicted, he said the Germans were still the better team.
“I think England have stepped up and exceeded everyone’s expectations, also they will have Wayne Roooney back,” said Rues. “I still think we have the better squad, both individually and as a team. The European title is in our hands.”
Deja vu for captain Lahm
German skipper Philipp Lahm’s sizzling 39th-minute strike to Greek goal-keeper Michalis Sifakis’s left was a near carbon-copy of his opener against Costa Rica in the first game of the 2006 World Cup on home soil.
“We can be happy that we created more goals and are now in the semi-finals,” said Lahm. “We started really well, so we can be very happy.”
Portugal players in training bust-up
Meanwhile, Portugal winger Ricardo Quaresma and defender Miguel Lopes had a training ground bust-up yesterday, days ahead of their semi-final appearance.
During one drill, Quaresma was pushed to the ground by Lopes whereupon the winger kicked out at the defender’s legs. Defender Ricardo Costa stood in front of Quaresma to calm him down while coach Paulo Bento also got involved.
“It’s just normal things that happen in training,” said Costa. “Things got a bit heated between two players. We’re pumped up, we always want to win and sometimes small things happen.”
Portugal facing UEFA charges
The Portuguese Football Federation is facing disciplinary action after a fan tried to get on the pitch during the country’s quarter-final win against the Czech Republic.
European football’s governing body said in an emailed statement that they had launched proceedings against the FPF for ‘the inappropriate behaviour of their supporters – attempted invasion of the field of play by a fan’.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2012.
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