You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

No German trauma for Italy Euro16 quarter

dpadpa 28/06/2016

Despite never beating the Azzurri at a major tournament, German coach Joachim Loew says his team have no trauma about facing Italy in the Euro16 quarters.

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France, June 28 DPA - German coach Joachim Loew has dismissed suggestions his team have a trauma about facing Italy again on Saturday in the Euro 2016 quarter-finals despite never having beaten the Azzurri at a major tournament.

"We have no Italian trauma - this is a new team," Loew said on Tuesday at a media conference. "That talk is cold coffee - we prefer a hot espresso," he added, indicating the small cup of coffee - Italian, according to the team media officer - he was drinking.

Germany have met Italy eight times in major tournament finals but have never beaten their historic rivals on the big stage.

Loew tasted defeat against Italy as Germany's assistant coach in the 2006 World Cup, when they lost 2-0 after extra-time, and as coach in 2012 when Italy won a Euro semi-final 2-1.

"It hurt me an awful lot. "But it was a good lesson."

In a pre-Euro friendly in Munich in March, however, Germany crushed Italy 4-1 and Loew said he had a good feeling ahead of the meeting in Bordeaux.

"With the win (over Slovakia) in the last 16, we have overcome an important hurdle on our path but it's not a time to become euphoric.

"I'm really looking forward to Italy, these opponents, in the quarter-final. It's not the usual Italy - they play really well going forward."

Italy arrived in France as underdogs, with some of their media calling their squad the worst in Italian history. But coach Antonio Conte produced a tactical masterclass to defeat Belgium in the opening group game and reigning champions Spain were dispatched in clinical fashion on Monday in the last 16.

Loew said there were a couple of small fitness problems in the squad as Jerome Boateng, Julian Draxler, Sami Khedira and Mats Hummels had various bumps and bruises to deal with but everyone would be available for the game.

"There is tremendous faith in our medical team and physiotherapists. They are working around the clock to monitor health of players."

Loew also backed forward Thomas Mueller - yet to score in the tournament - saying he did a lot of work for the team and captain Bastian Schweinsteiger - used from the bench after an injury-hit season with Manchester United.

"Schweinsteiger is playing an important role off the pitch, working with the younger players," Loew said. "He is very good with the young players. He accepts his role."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon