Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has confirmed he is happy his side have avoided a second round meeting with England.
England’s 2-2 draw with Sweden means Germany will face the Swedes in the next phase after they finished second in Group B.
Arsenal keeper Lehmann was happy to avoid England because he feared he would come in for criticism because he is plays in the Premiership.
“For me it would be better not to play England,” admitted Lehmann.
“Because I live there and have many friends and would feel the consequences.”
Lehmann also believes that Germany are now genuine contenders.
“The respect is back, at least after today,” added Lehmann. “And the tournament team myth is alive. We are quite confident and we know what we can do.
“We are always capable of playing at a very high level.
“Other teams could be more skilful or whatever, but sometimes they don’t know how to perform, unlike us Germans – we know about our abilities and we want to perform at the highest level.”
Robert Huth was another who believes that Germany can go far in the tournament.
“We’ve got the whole country behind us and that is important,” said Huth.
“We know that the real tournament starts now and that it could all be over on Saturday. But we are very confident.”