Schweinsteiger predicts first-time win for Germans
THE day is coming when Germany will finally beat Italy at a major tournament, according to midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. And that day will be today.
Schweinsteiger and his team-mates will face Italy in this evening’s Euro 2012 semi-final in Warsaw, well aware of their national team’s record against the Azzurri.
Italy have never lost to Germany at a World Cup or European Championship in seven previous meetings, and have an overall head-to-head record of 14-7 in 30 matches, with nine draws. The past may speak for Italy, but Schweinsteiger made it clear that this generation has no hang-ups about past records against leading sides – especially since Germany trounced England and Argentina, 4-1 and 4-0 respectively, at the 2010 World Cup.
More recently, Germany defeated Brazil for the first time in 18 years, winning 3-2 in a friendly in August, and then beat the Netherlands 3-0 in a friendly and 2-1 in the group stage of Euro 2012.
“For years we could not beat the big nations, but then we beat England, Argentina, the Netherlands and Brazil. Now, it’s Italy’s turn to fall,” Schweinsteiger said yesterday. “We have no fear but we have great respect for Italy.”
Schweinsteiger has a key role to play in central midfield, providing the transition from defence to attack. However, he has been playing with a lingering ankle injury after tearing a ligament in February that didn’t heal properly.
“I am now 100 per cent fit. I have two full training sessions behind me and I am looking forward to this classic match,” Schweinsteiger added. “We’ll have to attack them early. We are going to need a certain amount of aggression.”
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