Germany have defied their critics by reaching Sunday’s World Cup final in Yokohama and according to coach Rudi Voller, their place in the final is well-deserved.
“We started well right from the start and we were very compact in defence. We were always in the position to create chances” he said.
Voller also attacked the critics who have described his side as one of the worst German teams ever, pointing out that they had now reached the World Cup final.
“A few weeks ago nobody expected us to even go through to the second round” he said.
A solid and disciplined performance gave them a 1-0 victory over South Korea in today’s semi-final and the Germans insist that their victory was a well-earned one.
“This is super. It was a deserved victory and we deserve to be in the final” said Bayer Leverkusen forward Oliver Neuville, the man who set up the winner for Michael Ballack.
Captain Oliver Kahn said that Germany had prepared thoroughly for the match and pinpointed South Korea’s weaknesses.
“We had watched South Korea carefully and had noticed that they tired game after game. We knew if we managed to remain compact and tight, it should be enough” said Kahn.
But the Germans were quick to praise the South Korean’s effort and support.
“South Korea deserve a lot of respect for the way they played. They never stopped playing” said defender Christoph Metzelder
“The crowd were just fantastic. It was a piece of hard work but we fought well and we played good football” he added. Michael Ballack was booked during the game and will miss the final, but he was remaining upbeat despite his obvious disappointment.
“It’s a great achievement. I’m happy for the team and the entire nation” he said.
Voller praised Ballack’s performance in the match – particularly the foul that led to his booking.
“Even though he knew that with another yellow card he would miss the final, he still committed that tactical foul that was absolutely necessary. The entire country will stand and applaud him” he said.
And given the unpredictable nature of this World Cup, Kahn is refusing to take it for granted that his team will be facing Brazil in Sunday’s final.
“When you’re in the final, you’re obviously wanting to win it. But the way this World Cup has been going, it could be Turkey next” he said.