Lahm talks up German class
Germany captain Philipp Lahm stands by his belief that this is the best team he has ever played in.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 26/06/10 11:44am
Germany captain Philipp Lahm has warned England that he stands by his belief that this is the best team he has ever played in.
The Germans have impressed at the 2010 World Cup, starting off in imposing fashion as they thumped 10-man Australia 4-0.
Joachim Low's men then suffered a setback against Serbia but responded to see off Ghana and book a last-16 meeting with bitter rivals England.
Lahm feels that a not entirely smooth group stage campaign will benefit the Germans, who boast an exciting young squad.
"This statement stands 100 per cent," he said when quizzed about his previous words about the quality of the Germans. "There's no reason for me to change that statement because I train with these lads every day.
"[The squad has] got a lot of quality, a lot of talent, and everybody knows it's still a developing team, still on a learning curve - which is why I think, with hindsight, it was very important that we didn't win all our group games clearly and without going through the odd difficult moment.
"I think it was a good thing for us to suffer at least for a while in the games."
Lahm remains wary of England, despite suggestions from Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer that the Three Lions play long-ball football and are "burned out", comments for which he has since apologised.
"Truth be told, I never knew, because we don't hear a lot about what's happening back home and what Beckenbauer says and doesn't say," said the Bayern Munich full-back.
"Let me just say that we know that English players have good qualities. They are very good players, but we will be well prepared.
"We know perfectly well that they play the opposite to kick and rush, and in Wayne Rooney they have an excellent striker who, if he gets the ball into his feet, he is dynamite, he is quicksilver... but we'll be very well prepared."