Germany stronger than last time says Frings

Phil Seery
BERLIN, June 27, 2006 (AFP) – Germany midfielder Torsten Frings has warned Argentina that the World Cup hosts are a much stronger outfit than the team they faced at the Confederations Cup last June.

Germany cross swords with Argentina on Friday in a titanic quarter-final tussle in Berlin and Frings said Jurgen Klinsmann’s team had made giant strides since the two 2-2 draws last year.

"We were close to beating them on both occasions and were arguably the better side," Frings said at Tuesday’s press conference.

"I do not know if they are stronger now, but all I can say for sure is that we are."

In February last year Germany drew 2-2 with Argentina in a friendly in Dusseldorf and then by the same scoreline in the group match at the Confederations Cup.

Werder Bremen midfielder Frings played in both of those matches and hopes it is third time lucky against Jose Pekerman’s team.

"We can play at a high tempo for 90 minutes or 120 minutes if we need to. I do not think Argentina like it when you get amongst them," Frings explained.

"We will do everything to beat them and I think we can do it. I think Friday is finally the time to defeat a top nation."

Germany have failed to defeat a recognised top nation since a 1-0 win over England in a World Cup qualifier back in October 2000.

Much has been made of the statistic but Frings, capped 56 times for his country, says he and his team-mates do not have a mental block.