Three-time champions Germany's hour of truth at Euro 2008 is approaching, claimed their captain Michael Ballack on Monday.
The 31-year-old Chelsea playmaker, however, refused to discount the chances of Wednesday's semi-final opponents Turkey, despite them being severely depleted through suspensions and injuries.
“The hour of truth is approaching, we are in the Euro semi-finals and we have an enormous chance to reach the final,” said Ballack, who missed out on the 2002 World Cup final because he was suspended after being booked in the semi-final.
Ballack, whose two goals in the last two matches has taken his total to 38 in 85 international appearances, said that the reason he would not anticipate rolling over the Turks was for a simple reason…they are so German.
“This team (Turkey) has a very German mentality,” Ballack told daily newspaper Die Welt.
“They will be a very difficult adversary, very, very difficult who have nothing to lose because reaching the semi-finals is already an enormous success for them and anything else will be a bonus.
“What they have done already, to believe always and score goals at the end of their matches, is something that only Germany does normally.”
Turkey – who have nine players either suspended or injured – have been the comeback kings of the tournament having beaten co-hosts Switzerland in the final minute (2-1), scored three goals in the final 15 minutes against the Czechs having been 2-0 behind, and levelled against Croatia with the final kick of the match in their quarter-final before winning on penalties.
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