Lahm looks forward to 'classic'

Germany skipper aware of threats posed by Italy and England

Philipp Lahm: Germany have impressed, but they consider Spain to be the team to beat

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Philipp Lahm believes Italy would pose a greater threat to Germany than England in the Euro 2012 semi-finals, but admits either clash would be a 'classic'.

Germany are already safely through to the last four and are waiting to discover who their opponents will be.

England go head-to-head with Italy in the last of the quarter-finals on Sunday, with both nations looking to edge a step closer to continental glory.

Lahm claims he has no preference as to which side prevails, with Germany aware that they will need to be at their best if they are to make it to back-to-back European Championship finals.

He said: "Whoever we meet, it is going to be a footballing classic. What more could you want then to meet such an opponent in the semi-final?

"I think Italy are a bit stronger, cleverer and tactically well-schooled and they are harder to beat.

"England have their class and they have changed their game a little to be more defensive now and it is not so easy to face either of them.

Aim

"Whoever we meet, it is going to be a footballing classic. What more could you want then to meet such an opponent in the semi-final?"

Philipp Lahm

Quotes of the week

"I am looking forward to a classic. One thing is for sure, we are going to have to work hard to get through and we cannot presume we have won.

"But our overall aim is to win this tournament."

Germany are considered by many to be the favourites to go all the way in Poland and Ukraine, but Lahm claims reigning champions Spain remain the side to beat after cruising past France in their last eight encounter.

He said: "They are totally proving their quality. They are the team to beat.

"You see the way they played yesterday - that was impressive. France had practically no chances, above all in the first half - I am not sure if they even had the ball for more than two seconds.

"Therefore, they are still the team to beat."