Lahm: This is the best Germany side I have ever played in

Lahm: This is the best Germany side I have ever played in

Although he is only 26, Philipp Lahm is one of the most experienced players in the Germany squad at the World Cup finals in South Africa, dpa reported.

As stand-in captain for the injured Michael Ballack, Lahm has taken the side to the semi-finals after beating England 4-1 in the round of 16 and then completely outplaying Argentina 4-0 in the quarter-finals.

The defender, who has played 70 matches for Germany, believes the current Germany squad is the best he has ever played for.

"This is the most talented national side with the most quality that I have ever played in. I think you saw in the last two games that the team simply has a lot of quality.

"If you beat one of the top favourites for the World Cup and manage to do it so impressively with a 4-0, then you can say that it was one of the best games that I have played in with Germany. I can't say if it was the best one."

Lahm, who plays his club football for Bayern Munich, said that the difference between Germany and Argentina was that Germany played as a collective unit.

"We were ready to beat them. You saw that the better team wins against the better players.

"We have a good coach and we are always ready to beat any team."

He said that their coach Joachim Loew had primed them to restrict Argentina in the centre. "We wanted to restrict their play in the middle. We were willing to let them play on the outside, but in the middle they have all their top players like Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez and we wanted to restrict them. That stopped them from creating any real chances."

The captain said the side was now eager to go a step further. "The belief that we can go all the way is there because the team is playing well.

"Everything is possible. We have to do it like before and concentrate on our next opponent and we will be fully prepared for that match again and then every player will have to perform to his full capabilities, as they did against England and Argentina."

He said that he believed Germany, who also beat Australia 4-0 in the group phase, were playing attractive football. "If you score four goals three times during the World Cup, I think it is good for everyone, not only for German fans, but really for everyone. The way we play is very good."

The German players are motivated by Loew showing video clips of them celebrating after scoring goals in previous games and Lahm said the victory against Argentina was very important.

"It was a huge step forward for us. We have not beaten a big opponent for a long, long time. We managed to beat Argentina four years ago at the World Cup, but that was with luck and we went through.

"But then we lost to Italy, we were beaten by Spain and lost a friendly against Argentina. So against the big teams we have not played like we wanted to and it is thus very important that we beat one of the top favourites for the title."

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