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Magath: Schweinsteiger should start

SoccerNews in European Championships 27 Jun 2012

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Bastian Schweinsteiger is irreplaceable for Germany and should start every game if he is fit, according to Wolfsburg boss Felix Magath.

The influential midfielder has been nursing an ankle injury and was uncharacteristically wasteful in possession in the quarter-final win over Greece.

Writing in his column for German daily Die Welt, Magath – who was Schweinsteiger’s club boss at Bayern Munich between 2004 and 2007 – backed his former protege to come good in Thursday’s semi-final against Italy.

“If (Schweinsteiger) is injured, he cannot play, otherwise I see no replacement for him,” he said.

“Neither Toni Kroos nor Lars Bender can adequately replace him as a player and above all as a personality. Schweinsteiger is needed.”

Magath singled out Andrea Pirlo as the danger man that Germany must watch out for on Thursday, and suggested crowding him out whenever the veteran is in possession of the ball.

“The key player of the Italians is Andrea Pirlo,” he wrote.

“He sets the pace and dictates the rhythm.

“But he can often fall back deep inside his own half. If he can be disrupted while receiving the ball, we would have achieved a lot.”

Germany’s last-four encounter with Cesare Prandelli’s men will get under way at Warsaw’s National Stadium on Thursday.

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