Thursday, April 25, 2024

Klose very confident

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ERASMIA – Miroslav Klose says a new generation of creative players can help Germany avenge their loss to Spain in the 2008 European Championship final when the sides meet in the World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday.The veteran forward was in an experienced German side that lost a one-sided Euro final 1-0 in Vienna.Klose said yesterday that the World Cup rematch in Durban would feature “different players, different squads” – and to Germany’s advantage.“Spain are still ruling supreme in Europe but in terms of quality I think we have improved, big time,” Klose said through a translator.Young Germans who have impressed the football world in South Africa include playmaker Mesut Özil, four-goal wide player Thomas Müller and defensive midfielder Sami Khedira.Klose, who played his 100th international game in the quarter-final win over Argentina on Saturday, said they brought enormous quality and a fresh attitude to the team.“A few years ago people kept saying that isn’t it a shame there aren’t any new generations coming through – we’ve no forwards coming through, no creative midfielders coming through and everybody deplored that.“But time has proved these people wrong,” Klose said.Klose and Mueller both were on target in knockout-round victories against England and Argentina, as Germany scored four goals each time to embarrass their old rivals.However, Mueller collected his second yellow card of the finals in the 4-0 dismantling of Diego Maradona’s team, and will sit out the Spanish clash.Klose said Spain would be the best opponents Germany had faced at this World Cup – “surely better” than England and Argentina.“Spain is the best of the three. They play a fantastic game,” said the 32-year-old Bayern Munich forward, before adding that Spain’s 1-0 quarter-final victory against Paraguay late Saturday encouraged the German camp.“That has shown us that Spain are not unbeatable, they’re not invincible. There is a slight difference in the way they played between 2008 and now,” Klose said.Spain’s decisive score came late from David Villa for his tournament-leading fifth goal. “He’s a fantastic player,” praised Klose, who has four in his four matches. “He’s left-footed, right-footed, technically gifted. He’s almost as complete a player as Lionel Messi.“He’s a player that you have to combat against with a whole team, not just one defender.” (AP)

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