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Freund's deja-vu

Posted on 28 June 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Steffen Freund feels some sympathy for suspended German hero Michael Ballack - he suffered the same fate six years ago.

Ballack will miss Sunday's World Cup Final after picking up a yellow card in the semi-final victory against South Korea.

Six years ago it was Steffen's turn to miss out on the big one.

He suffered a cruciate knee injury in the Euro 96 semi-final against England at Wembley and had to sit it out as his team-mates lifted the trophy against the Czech Republic.

He eventually returned in time to play a part in Borussia Dortmund's 1997 Champions League triumph.

Ballack will be sorely missed after scoring the winning goals against USA in the last eight and in the semi-final against South Korea - ironically just minutes after he was booked.

Steffen pondered: "It will be difficult for Michael to miss the final on a personal level and for Germany as a team.

"Of course, I know what it is like to miss a major final but for me it was very different in Euro 96.

"I suffered a cruciate ligament injury in the semi-final against England and I didn't just miss the final, I knew I would be out for six months, maybe a year.

"It will be hard for him to watch from the sidelines but he will be still very much part of the team.

"Germany is all about the team. That is why we are in the final - we haven't played particularly well but as a team, you can move mountains. You can be successful if you are a team and this German team has played together, reached the final together and it will never be easy to beat them.

"Going back to Ballack, I think he will be missed. He scored the crucial goals against the USA and South Korea and he is one of those players who can score all the time. Against Brazil, we might need that type of player."

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