ERASMIA - Germany captain
Philipp Lahm on Thursday fanned a war of words between his side
and rivals Argentina ahead of their World Cup quarter-final
clash, accusing his opponents of being bad losers.
A day after Germany midfielder
Bastian Schweinsteiger called
the Argentines "disrespectful," his captain said they did not
know how to deal with a defeat.
"Bastian said what he said. We
know South Americans are
impulsive and temperamental and cannot lose," said the usually
see on Saturday how they will lose and how they
will behave after a defeat," he said.
Germany beat Argentina in the 2006
World Cup quarter-finals
on penalties before a violent brawl broke out at the end of the
match, drawing in most players and coaches from both teams with
punches and kicks flying.
The two sides have also met twice in a World Cup final, with
Argentina winning their second trophy in 1986 and Germany coming
out on top in 1990 for their third World Cup victory.
"We have to concentrate on our
football only," said Lahm.
"The South Americans are temperamental. We know that and we will
see how they will deal this time with a defeat."
"It is time we beat a top team.
Our young team has to show
that it can beat a top team like Argentina in 90 minutes," Lahm
Schweinsteiger had kicked off the
unusual war of words on
Wednesday saying Argentine players were always trying to
influence the referee to gain an unfair advantage.
"It starts before the match,"
Schweinsteiger said. "If you
see how they gesticulate, how they try to influence the referee.
That is not part of the game. That is a lack of respect. They
just are like that," said Schweinsteiger.
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff,
playing the role of a good
cop, urged German players to forget the 2006 World Cup brawl.
"We should leave it behind and
keep a cool head and just
concentrate on what we do best," he told reporters, sitting next
"I do not think it
will be a fiery game," he said adding
Germany were not overestimating their abilities despite having
played a good tournament so far.
"That is exactly the strength of
the team. That they have a
healthy self-esteem. This enthusiasm around them will not carry
them away thinking they have reached their target."
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