A nagging ankle problem for
Bastian Schweinsteiger and the continuing issue of a mole in the
camp have cast a small shadow over Germany's preparations for
their Euro 2012 semi-final in Warsaw on Thursday.
Experienced holding midfielder Schweinsteiger has missed
some training sessions in the past few days due to an ankle
injury picked up earlier in the year and his performance in the
tournament has so far been below expectations.
"He has a problem and obviously it is best when no player
has a problem," captain Philipp Lahm told reporters on Sunday.
"It is OK when you miss a training session but when you need to
sit out several then it is not that easy."
"But I am not too concerned. Bastian knows his body inside
out, he is experienced and he will be able to deliver on
Three-time European champions Germany will meet either
England or Italy, who play later on Sunday, for a place in the
final on July 1 in Kiev.
"We need fit players, so much is clear," said Lahm when
asked whether Schweinsteiger would play even if not fully fit.
"We cannot have three or four percent missing. We have depth
in the squad and that gives you peace of mind. But clearly it
would be good if Bastian Schweinsteiger could play on Thursday,"
Germany made four changes to their line-up in their 4-2
quarter-final win over Greece compared to their last group game
against Denmark but looked even sharper.
Preparations for their fourth straight semi-final in a major
tournament have also been hit by revelations that a mole has
been leaking the lineups for group games and their quarter-final
match against Greece to media hours before the start.
Coach Joachim Low has said it was none of his players but
did not rule out the possibility that the 'Deep Throat' could be
someone they talked to, from friends and wives to maybe agents.
Lahm said the issue had again been raised with the players
and that the culprit was causing some damage.
"Everyone should be aware that it is normal for a player to
tell his wife, girlfriend or agent whether they will play once
they find out but you cannot reveal the lineup. You cannot do
"It is sad when this thing comes out. The whole nation is
behind us and it is not an advantage when it is leaked hours
before. The one who released it has a problem. He has not
understood how this works."
"But we will not deploy a spy," he said.
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