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Playing at home puts pressure on France – Kroos

Toni Kroos says Germany do not fear France and hinted playing at home may hinder, not help, Didier Deschamps’ men.

Germany fans will be heavily outnumbered at the Stade Velodrome on Thursday for their Euro 2016 semi-final and Kroos believes that will bring added pressure on the tournament hosts.

The Real Madrid midfielder said: “There have been more Germany fans [in the stadiums] in previous games in France but on Thursday it won’t be like this.

“We have strong opponents against us and there will be support for them but also pressure and I think we will use that.

“We have a lot of respect for France, throughout the tournament they have improved and they have great individual quality, but we don’t fear them.

“We know it is a very good team we are up against though.”

Kroos dismissed the suggestion that Germany had been the standout team so far.

He added: “I think there are different phases throughout the tournament. At the start, Spain were the best side, two games later that was not the case. In the last round, France were very strong.

“It doesn’t get us anywhere if we say we have been the best side so far. We have to give our best on the pitch on Thursday – if we don’t, we will go home.”

Kroos also had words of praise for head coach Joachim Low, who is close to guiding his side to a World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016 double.

“In this phase of the tournament, it’s important for the coach to work with us the way he does, how he talks with us and that’s where he has succeeded,” said Kroos.

“He finds the right words. Even on Tuesday, he talked to us and motivated us for the game on Thursday.

“Sometimes it’s normal after a game like against Italy [which Germany won on a penalty shoot-out] for it to take two or three days to recover and you don’t feel so much pressure. But you’re only supposed to feel that after the final, which is why the words of the coach are so important.”

Wed 6 Jul, 2016
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