Brazilians will not bamboozle us vows Ballack
captain Michael Ballack insists the hosts will have respect for the
talent in the Brazil team ahead of the Confederations Cup semi-final.
The likes of Per Mertesacker, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Lukas Podolski
have only experienced the silky skills of Ronaldinho, Adriano and Kaka
on the television, but Ballack insists the inexperienced youngsters will
not be overawed.
"Brazil have some unbelievable players and of course we have respect for
them," Ballack said Friday. "But as soon as the whistle goes we will get
at them and not sit back in admiration."
A 2-2 draw with Olympic champions Argentina in their final Group A match
gave Germany a taste of the South American style and Ballack expects a
"Brazil have the same strengths as Argentina but we are well prepared,"
"We have watched them on video but that does not mean we were sitting
down for hours in front of the television screen."
Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann rested Ballack for the Argentina game and
the midfielder finally has the chance to face Brazil in a tournament
after the heartache at the 2002 World Cup.
Ballack scored the winning goal as Germany triumphed 1-0 over South
Korea to reach the World Cup final but missed the 2-0 defeat against
Brazil due to suspension.
"The final was three years ago and that is a long time in football,"
said the Bayern Munich star.
"Of course I still think about it but three years has helped heal the
While the Confederations Cup can not be put on a pedestal with the World
Cup Ballack hit back at critics saying the competition had no value.
"Some people say this Confederations Cup is not a big trophy, but as far
I am concerned it is an international title.
"It is just 12 months before the World Cup and I want to win this cup."
Ballack insisted Germany must be prepared to attack Brazil from the
start but not be too gung-ho.
"We will attack Brazil but are not going for a 4-3 or a 5-4 win."
Germany are averaging three goals a game in the tournament with
Australia (4-3), Tunisia (3-0) and Argentina (2-2) all failing to keep
out the German attack.
"We know we are in good shape and see what condition Brazil are in,"
Brazil have been inconsistent in the competition so far and fatigue has
been one reason put forward for the 1-0 defeat by Mexico and 2-2 draw
Germany will hope Brazil's batteries are low thus improving their
chances of reaching the Frankfurt final on June 29 and ending a
miserable run against the big teams.