Löw: Germany pumped up for Argentina clash

CAPE TOWN - Germany coach Joachim Low will not be bothering with "motivational tricks" before Saturday's World Cup quarter-final with Argentina - his team is already pumped-up enough.

Arguably the tournament's two most exciting teams so far go up against each other in Cape Town on Saturday for a spot in the last four with Germany's Lukas Podolski and Mesut Ozil looking fit to play.

Both took part in the afternoon training, as did striker Cacau, who had been nursing an abdominal muscle strain but could still be ruled fit for that match.

"We will not be shivering in the changing rooms, hoping the referee will not start the game," Germany coach Joachim Low told reporters.

"I know that in matches like these, against England (in the round of 16) and Argentina, I do not really have to help the players with any motivational tricks.

"They are all fully motivated and when we walk on to the pitch they will be ready," Low said of Germany's youngest squad since 1934, average age around 25.

Michael Ballack, who was injured weeks before the World Cup and had to pull out, visited the team at their hotel and the training session, sitting briefly on the team bench.

"The team is playing superbly and is in harmony," former captain Ballack said, predicting a 3-2 Germany win.

The 50-year-old coach also played down a war of words that had erupted in the past days with German players calling the Argentines unfair, disrespectful and bad losers.

Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger and captain Philipp Lahm had been referring to their 2006 World Cup quarter-final win over Argentina on penalties which sparked a post-match brawl involving players, coaches and team officials from both sides.


"There is freedom of opinion in my team. If you ask me, I think that game was at no moment brutal or unfair until after the penalties.

"It was tightly contested but not marked by unfairness. Argentines have passion and commitment and that is their mentality and we have to prepare for that. The problem in 2006 started after the game was decided," Low said.

He said he expected Argentina to continue playing their offensive game just like Germany would.

"It is not part of (Argentine coach Diego Maradona's) mentality to play defensively," he said.

"When you have seen him on the bench he powers his team forward and as a player he never really thought about defence.

"Argentina will be deadly dangerous in attack and will look to score and I cannot imagine that they will come out with more respect and fear," he said.

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