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Ballack expects ‘hell’ in Turkish encounter

sports Updated: Jun 25, 2008 22:03 IST

AFP
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Germany captain Michael Ballack says he expects a “hell” of a battle in Wednesday’s Euro 2008 semi-final against Turkey with a place in the final at stake.

“Turkey have shown a never-say-die attitude, their ability to adapt and keep fighting is well known,” said Ballack.

“We expect a hell of an opponent, so there is no real favourite here.

“They have eliminated a Croatia team we lost to, they also took out Czech Republic and Swiss.

“There is no need to be in fear of Turkey, but at the same time over-confidence would also be dangerous.”

Having been guilty of complacency in their shock 2-1 defeat by Croatia in the group stage, Ballack went to great lengths to stress how focused the Germans.

“We underestimate no one, yet it is a question we are often asked about in the squad,” said Ballack.

“We had a bad performance against Croatia, that had nothing to do with an under-estimation, we just lacked an inner motivation, it was just an off day.

“In terms of football, I can’t promise you flair, but in attitude we will give our all, I can promise you that.

“Turkey will man-mark and be much more defensively orientated and try and hit us on the counter.

“We will probably be superior in possession, but you never know.”

A question mark also hangs over Torsten Frings.

The midfielder is suffering from a fractured rib injury he picked up in the 1-0 win over Austria, yet Ballack insisted Germany's holding midfielder is fit and ready to go.

“Torsten is fit again, he has trained with us in the last two sessions and has reported back in, he has no more pain and it's not a risk if he wants to play,” said Ballack.

“We have trained flexibly, it's not hard to change the formations, we know 4-4-2, we weren't that used to 4-5-1, but it worked out well.

“We are in a semi-final, we have to be a big cagey about giving a few secrets away.”