Wenger tips Germany | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 26, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 26, 2008

Star SportsEuro Special

Wenger tips Germany

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who knows a thing or two about winning trophies, tipped Germany to win Euro 2008 on Tuesday, predicting they would beat Spain in Sunday's final in Vienna.
He also said that Michael Ballack, who plays for Arsenal's London rivals Chelsea, had been the most consistent player in the tournament so far, although he also praised Russian forward Andrei Arshavin who has inspired his team after being suspended for the opening two matches.
Wenger told reporters that Germany had a mental toughness other teams lacked and believed “they would edge” Spain in the final. Germany face Turkey in their semifinal in Basel on Wednesday while Spain meet Russia in Vienna on Thursday.
“Germany always appear to have unrest in the camp, but when they go into a match they are united. They are one of the few countries I know whose players can have a go against each other in the newspapers two days before a game, but they go into a game united and very strong.
“They always have a kind of simplicity in their collective game. They never use too many touches, they keep it simple and they play as a team, and in the final third they are very efficient.”
He singled out captain Ballack as their main inspiration.
“I believe that he has brought a new dimension to his game and is the undoubted leader of the team.
“Lukas Podolski is also having a great tournament, but if you look at Michael Ballack, he makes his team play, he is efficient, he can score goals. He has been the most consistent player in the tournament since the opening day.
“I think Germany will edge Spain in the final. They have a belief that comes from their history and that history gives them strength.
“Spain's biggest handicap is that they haven't won anything for more than 30 years, play two or three games and then go home. Germany have massive belief and you saw that in the quarterfinals. All the teams were at the same level technically. What made the difference was their mental aspect.”
Wenger also praised Russia and said they had “improved dramatically” since he saw them lose to Israel in the qualifiers, and agreed that Arshavin had made an enormous impact in Russia's last two matches.
Despite tipping Spain to beat Russia in the semifinal on Thursday, Wenger said: “Russia have the best movement on and off the ball, and they use space better than any other team."

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