Germany striker Andre Schurrle has quashed rumours the players leaked the starting line-up before their Euro 2012 quarter-final against Greece.
Coach Joachim Loew sprung three surprises to his team ahead of their 4-2 win on Friday, bringing in the attacking trio of Schurrle, Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus.
Somehow the media received news of the starting line-up – which didn’t include Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller – before it was officially announced by Loew.
And after a stern talking to from Loew, Schurrle said it was unfortunate but did not believe any of the players were responsible.
“I don’t know if it was a disadvantage, but of course it’s not good,” Schurrle said.
“In the last games it has been the same that at about 2pm all the newspapers and the press knew how we’re going to play.
“They knew if there are any changes in the line-up. There must be a leak somewhere and obviously that’s not good. But I don’t think it’s a big disadvantage.”
“He (Joachim Loew) talked with us about this issue and he wasn’t very happy about that.
“I don’t think it is a player of the team who gave information to the press.”
Loew will now set about drafting a starting 11 to take on either England or Italy in the semi-finals with the added break the Germans receive a bonus, according to Schurrle.
“The days are getting longer and I would like to have more time to prepare for the game, but that’s how it is,” he said.
“We’ve got enough time to re-energise and hopefully it makes the difference, that we’re a little more lively and fresh than our opponents. We try to prepare as well as possible.”
A furious Loew was less than amused that German newspaper Bild had published the entire starting line-up hours before kick-off.
“I cannot explain how the list was leaked. Maybe a player spoke with his agent,” he said.
“It’s not nice when (the line-up) is released, because we want to be unpredictable.”