Monday, November 29, 1999

Germany have history on their side

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London, June 16 (DPA) Injured German captain Michael Ballack Wednesday praised his team-mates at the World Cup and recommended them as an example for England.Ballack, 33, said in his column for The Times that Germany has history on its side at the showpiece event it has won three times, compared to England's lone success in 1966.Germany routed Australia 4-0 in their first game while England were not convincing in a 1-1 draw with the US.'Expectation can create pressure, but we're inspired by our history, whereas I've sensed that England are intimidated by their past,' said Ballack, who has played for four years in England at Chelsea but did not have his contract renewed for next season.'Their history weighs them down. Individually, England have better players, but I'd rather be in the German team.'We're one of the fittest sides in the tournament, play good football and have an outstanding mentality, so we have an opportunity to achieve something great. We're a big country, with a big history, and have to go for it,' Ballack said.Ballack told England to move better and to take more risks, as the high pace of English football was not all too different from the German game.The 98-times capped Ballack said he had full faith in the young German team which played with confidence against Australia and showed fantastic ball movement.Ballack went on to single out playmaker Mesut Oezil: 'In Mesut Oezil we have the number 10 we have been missing for many years and he is showing the world how talented he is.'

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