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We will not take Turks for granted, says Ballack

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 22 Jun 2008

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Three-time champions Germany will not be taking Turkey for granted in their Euro 2008 semi-final on Wednesday, German captain Michael Ballack said on Sunday.

The 31-year-old told Sunday newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that while the title remained the Germans' target – which would be their first piece of silverware in 12 years since Germany beat Czech Republic in Euro '96 – they would be foolish to think that their place in the final was already assured.

“I don't like to talk about the title and it would be a great error to already be thinking about the final, because the adversary is Turkey and not Italy,” said Ballack, who has scored twice already taking his total to 38 goals in 85 international appearances.

“But our goal is very clear: we want to be European champions.

“We cannot say that we are superior in terms of play and tactics to the Turks.

“It is up to us to reach the final, but as the Turkish side are unpredictable, it is hard to know how to approach this match,” added the Chelsea midfielder, who scored in the 2002 World Cup semi-final against South Korea but was suspended for the final.

Turkey have been the comeback kings of the tournament, only having led for two minutes in their four matches to date.

They beat Switzerland in the last minute, scored three times in the final 15 minutes to come from 2-0 down to beat the Czechs 3-2 and levelled against Croatia with the last kick of the quarter-final – and then won the penalty shootout.

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