Germany’s dismal record against Italy in major tournaments is not a source of trauma for the world champions, who will face their international nemesis in the Euro 2016 last eight, coach Joachim Loew said on Tuesday.
The Germans, who are four-time world champions and have also won three continental crowns, have always lost to Italy in World Cups and Euro knockout rounds, including in the 1970 World Cup last four, the 1982 World Cup final, a 2006 World Cup semi-final and a Euro 2012 semi-final.
The 2012 defeat was under Loew and was especially bitter, with the Germans, favourites at the time, exiting the competition following a 2-0 loss to the Italians.
“We have never beaten them in a tournament but we have no Italy trauma,” Loew said. “I do not rate the past too much.
“They are now a different team. That’s all cold coffee. A fresh espresso is better and I hope it tastes better on Saturday,” he said, taking a sip from his own coffee.
Italy advanced to the last eight with a 2-0 victory over holders Spain on Monday.
Loew, who led Germany to the 2014 World Cup title, said his players, who beat Italy 4-1 in a friendly in March, would be fully fit and rested when they faced the Italians in Bordeaux.
“We don’t fear them. We know what we can do and if we do it then we have a good chance to win it,” said the coach.
Germany went through to the last eight with a comfortable 3-0 win over Slovakia but Loew said not too much should be read into that victory.
“I think emotions from the outside are running pretty high. We were almost written off after our 0-0 (group match) against Poland. Then we win 3-0 and everything is great. Okay, we did it well but with all due respect for our opponents, I don’t think that this victory was the measure for winning the tournament.
“What we need now is humility and modesty. Let’s keep the bar low, the ball on the ground. I have a good feeling for the weekend but we need to improve. What we have been playing is not enough to win this tournament; we have to get better.”