Germany's emerging star Mats Hummels refuses to accept his side are better than England, describing the Three Lions players as 'machines'.
Borussia Dortmund defender Hummels stood out as one of the top performers of the Euro 2012 group stage, impressing at the back to help Germany to three straight wins.
Joachim Low's side, who are favourites to lift the trophy in Poland and Ukraine, will meet England in the semi-finals if both teams progress from their respective last-eight encounters against Greece and Italy.
England have entered the tournament with lower expectations on their shoulders but Hummels insists they are a force to be reckoned with.
The 23-year-old reflected on Germany's meeting with the Three Lions at the 2010 World Cup, when Frank Lampard's 'ghost goal' was disallowed.
"For the national team, you can't say Germany is better than England," said Hummels.
"In 2010 it was a goal for Lampard, of course. If it counts, Germany has a problem. It was a good moment for us because it meant we could play on the counter attack.
"If that goal counts, maybe England goes on to win. If you score, you get more confidence. It could easily have been the case that England could have won the game."
He added: "English football is more powerful, more athletic.
"The players are stronger than ours. Mesut (Ozil) is a little slight. You do not see players like that in England.
"Terry, Rooney, Gerrard. They are all machines. That could be the difference. But the technical level of the players is very similar."
Much has been made of Low's young, entertaining Germany side, who made a big impact in South Africa two years ago.
But Hummels is not getting carried away, adding: "It is different to before, because we do not have very many "senior" players.
"Only Miro Klose is over 30. The rest are younger - even our captain, Philipp Lahm, is 28.
"They are still young. They do not feel like they are something special. Of course, they are the best players in Germany, but as people we are all at the same level."