Germany defender Jerome Boateng says there is no rift between players from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund on national team duty.
A considerable rivalry between the Bundesliga giants has developed on and off the pitch over the last two years, with their heated contests and barbs in the media leading to suggestions a rift exists between the clubs’ representatives heading into Euro 2012, but Boateng has denied these claims.
“There’s honestly no rivalry between us. Sure, you want to win every game,” he told Goal.com.
“But in the national team, we play for all.”
With Germany’s Euro 2012 campaign set to kick off against Portugal on Saturday, Boateng is hoping to help his country win its first major tournament since the 1996 European Championship in England.
“I hope that Euro 2012 will be a great spectacle for the fans and that we will play some great games,” he said.
“I hope that we will make a good impression of ourselves and will play successful football. If this is the case and the fans support us, it will be a great experience for both sides.”
However, Boateng was quick to play down claims Germany will enter the competition as favourites to lift the trophy.
“Spain and Netherlands are the favourites. I think that France can also play a big role,” the 23-year-old said.
“Of course I hope that we will be out in front.”
Joachim Loew’s side have had some hurdles to overcome, with the coach having publicly demanded improvement after recent friendlies against Switzerland and Israel.
Among other concerns, an injury has kept vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger sidelined for the warm-up matches and threatens to see him miss Germany’s Group B opener.
However, Boateng feels Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira can form a strong enough partnership in defensive midfield to see his side through to victory.
“Yes, for sure,” he said.
“Both players have a lot of quality. One plays for Real Madrid, the other for Bayern.”
“You shouldn’t take too much from friendly matches, because when it comes to playing competitively, it always looks very different.”
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