Germany midfielder Torsten Frings insists he would play himself in Sunday's Euro 2008 final against Spain if he was German coach – despite having a fractured rib.
The holding midfielder fractured it in the 1-0 group stage win over Austria on June 16, but just nine days later declared himself fit enough to come off the bench as Germany beat Turkey 3-2 in Wednesday's semi-final.
One of three current survivors from the 2002 World Cup final defeat to Brazil, the 31-year-old is desperate to play in Sunday's final in Vienna and has already told coach Joachim Loew to pick him.
“I feel absolutely fit, I hardly have any problems now and I am amazed how quickly I have healed,” said Frings.
“I was a bit nervous playing in the semi-final, I worried how I would cope if I went down, but I am fit, raring to go and burning to play.”
While he admits his place in the starting line-up comes with a certain risk – both to his own health and the team's aspirations to win a fourth European title – Frings said he would play himself if he was in Loew's shoes.
“Coach Frings would play Player Frings in the starting line-up,” he said with a grin.
“Of course, it was risky to field a player with a fractured rib in the semi-final, but I am raring to go now, burning to play.”
Frings' injury meant Bayer Leverkusen's Simon Rolfes took his place in the 3-2 quarter-final win over Portugal and the midfielder praised Loew's switch to a 4-5-1 formation which blew the Portuguese apart.
“You have to find the right response to situations, the gaps in midfield had simply been too big,” said Frings.
“Against Portugal, the prime consideration was to give them as little possesion as possible.
“We are comfortable with the system and you need to switch things to be a top team.”
And if he is chosen against Spain, Frings said he will play without fear of further injury.
“I don't fear any hits, I received plenty of knocks against Turkey,” said the tattoo-covered midfielder.
“I always believe in the opponents treating you fairly, but a blow to a fractured rib is a bit more painful than a knock to a new tattoo.”
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