[QODLink]
Football
Loew: 'We are not interested in the past'
Germany's poor record against Italy is not a concern, insists Germany coach Joachim Loew ahead of Euro 2012 semi-final.
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2012 10:50
Three-time European champions Germany have never beaten Italy in seven tournament matches but Germany coach Joachim Low, above, has said the past is not important [Reuters]

Coach Joachim Loew has told his team to forget past disappointments and just focus on beating Italy in Thursday's Euro 2012 semi-final as Germany hunt a first tournament win over the Azzurri.

Germany have never beaten Italy in a competitive match, losing three times and drawing as many in World Cup finals and European Championships. They also met in a World Cup qualifier in 1962 with the game ending in a draw and Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo has said the Germans are running scared of their record against Italy ahead of the Warsaw semi-final.

But Loew was defiant when asked about the lack of German success against the Azzurri over the years.

"We can't turn back time, forget about it, the past doesn't play a role in our planning," said Loew.

"Another stat is that Germany has never won against Italy in a major tournament, but so what?

"The situation is entirely different now and this is not an issue for us."

German fans know all about Juventus midfielder Pirlo from six years ago in Dortmund when the 33-year-old's stunning pass set up Fabio Grosso's extra-time goal in Italy's 2-0 victory in the 2006 World Cup semi-final.

But Loew says he is less interested in the Italians and more concerned with what the Germans can do as they look to add to their record 15-game winning streak in competitive matches since losing to Spain at the 2010 World Cup.

"(Italy) have performed well during this tournament, but we also know where they have had difficulties and might face a few problems," said Loew.

"What will be important at the end of the day is that we try and play our own game and take it to the opposition, not vice versa.

"If we manage to do that and play at a very level of concentration, with a solid performance at the back, we have every right to be self-confident.

"With a little help, we will win the game."

Looking forward

Germany's star midfielder Mesut Ozil, who will be up against Pirlo in the middle of the pitch, echoed Loew's sentiments.

"We are concentrating on the here and now," said the 23-year-old.

"We are looking forward to the semi, which will be very difficult, but we are confident we can beat anybody.

"Italy are surprisingly strong, you could also see that in the very good (1-1 draw) they had against world champions Spain (in Group C).

"I think they deserve to be in the semi-finals. They are compact, very strong, but in general we look only at ourselves.

"If we play as we can, I am convinced we will beat Italy."

442

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.