Germany had some of the pressure
lifted ahead of their Euro 2012 clash with Italy on Thursday
with federation president Wolfgang Niersbach saying it would not
be the end of the world to lose another semi-final.
Niersbach praised the team's stability after reaching their
fourth consecutive semi-final in a major tournament and said
anything beyond this stage would be a bonus.
Germany have never beaten Italy in a major tournament in
"Reaching the last four for the fourth tournament in a row
is a sign of continuity and stability," Niersbach told reporters
at the closing news conference at their base in Gdansk.
"It is the federation's wish - it is not a demand but
specifically a wish - that we finally reach the very top once."
"Whatever comes after this stage is a bonus and it will not
be the end of the world if we do not win because the overall
picture is already positive for us."
The three-time European champions have again fielded the
youngest team in the tournament, just like at the 2010 World
Cup, but have not won a major trophy since Euro 96.
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