GERMANY’S Philipp Lahm has delivered a withering put-down to England by claiming his side ‘now have to beat a big team’.
As Fabio Capello and his players continue to lick their wounds following their brutal defeat in Bloemfontein last weekend the Germans are preparing for a quarter-final meeting with Argentina in Cape Town tomorrow.
It is a repeat of the match at the same stage of the competition four years ago, when Germany emerged victorious on penalties, a result that sparked ugly clashes between the two teams.
Germany also came out on top against Argentina in the 1990 final thanks to Andreas Brehme’s late penalty.
And clearly, they think of this weekend’s tussle in a somewhat different light to the manner in which they assessed England.
“Now we are up against our own big five,” said captain Lahm, with reference to the jungle animals that are such a prominent feature of life in South Africa.
“We have to show we can finally beat a big team – someone like Argentina, Brazil or Spain.
“Definitely, these are bigger opponents than England.”
In analysing Argentina’s talents, general manager Oliver Bierhoff admitted Germany will have a far harder task finding fault with the South Americans than they did against England.
“It is not going to be easy on Saturday because Argentina are a stronger side than England,” said Bierhoff.
“There were obvious English weaknesses that had all been there in the group stages. Argentina are much more powerful and stronger.
“They have very few weaknesses.”