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Italy are not my bogey team – Kroos

German players have no interest in thinking about past losing battles against Italy as they prepare to face them in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals today,…

German players have no interest in thinking about past losing battles against Italy as they prepare to face them in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals today, with midfielder Toni Kroos sounding confident they will finally emerge victorious.
The Germans have lost all knockout tournament matches against Italy stretching back to 1970 but playmaker Kroos was in no mood to discuss them.
“Why should I have an Italy trauma? How often was I there?” he snapped, when asked about Germany’s dismal track record against the Italians. “I don’t have a problem talking about Italy. I just don’t have any Italy trauma.”
The Germans lost the 1982 World Cup final, two World Cup semifinals (1970, 2006) and the Euro 2012 last four encounter to the Italians and have also drawn all four group matches they have played at tournaments against them.
“So we never won. You can’t change that. But Saturday’s game is what is important. We will look to be prepared perfectly and then go out and beat them. I am very optimistic,” Kroos said.
The Germans beat Italy 4-1 in a friendly international in March but team manager Oliver Bierhoff said that result mattered little for today.
“That 4-1 win is absolutely not an issue. We have to erase that,” said Bierhoff, who scored Germany’s golden goal to secure the last of their three European titles 20 years ago to the day.
“The Italians are organised, united and very strong in these matches,” Bierhoff said. “You can see they have plays they know inside out and have studied repeatedly. It is a disciplined and concentrated team. The toughest one we have faced so far.”
Bierhoff said it was now time for the German team to stop talking about his winning goal from 1996 and write their own winning history at this tournament.
 

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