Demichelis: German digs a mark of respect

CAPE TOWN - Germany are showing respect for their World Cup quarter-final rivals Argentina when they accuse them of gamesmanship and being poor losers, Argentine defender Martin Demichelis said.

"It's an act of nervousness or respect, but I think it's respect," Demichelis said.

"For having beaten them in the friendly they respect us more, for our history," he added, recalling Argentina's 1-0 win in Munich in March and meeting in successive World finals in 1986 and 1990 with one victory apiece.

German players have accused the Argentines of trying to influence referees in the build-up to the match at Green Point stadium in Cape Town on Saturday.

They also said Argentina were poor losers when the sides met in the Berlin World Cup quarter-final four years ago which hosts Germany won on penalties. After the shootout, fighting broke out among players and team officials from both sides.

"Many people devalue our victory and our performance," Demichelis told a news conference on Thursday about the March warm-up match in the city where he plays his club soccer for Bayern Munich.

"But this Germany side is the same despite three changes and these same (Argentine) players are those who beat Germany," he said.

"I hope we repeat what we did in that match because Germany did not trouble us. We'll try to keep the ball from them and control it with the good players we have."

Demichelis, a club mate of four likely starters in the German team, said they had some outstanding, physically strong players.

"Their team has improved a lot since the World Cup began. I know them all, from the goalkeeper (Manuel Neuer) who can throw the ball to the halfway line to (striker Miroslav) Klose."

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