Skip to main content


Subscribe to newsfeed 


Posted on 14 June 2006  - 12:00

Lane legend Steffen Freund gives us the lowdown from Germany as the World Cup group stages continue...

Lane legend Steffen Freund gives us the lowdown from Germany as the World Cup group stages continue...

The midfielder played 131 times for us between 1999-2003 and was a member of the Germany squad that won Euro 96 in England. He also won the European Cup with Borussia Dortmund.

The fans favourite will be reporting from his home nation throughout the tournament…

I’VE JUST come away from watching Brazil against Croatia and I have to say I wasn’t that impressed by Brazil, I didn’t think they played that well. Okay, they won and you can expect them to play better, but it wasn’t the best of starts for them. Winning is all-important though. A number of the bigger teams have struggled to get going in their first games – Brazil, France, Portugal and even England, but three of them won and France drew. They will all improve and I think England will get better and better.

I SAID before the first game of the tournament last Thursday that I expected Germany to beat Costa Rica 3-0, okay, it was 4-2, but it was the type of performance I expected. I know how Jurgen Klinsmann wants to play and this more attacking style of football that suits the squad. We will go forward and if our opponents score, we’ll look to score more.

I thought it was a fantastic first game and a great way to open the World Cup – I think it was the most goals in an opening game since 1934 and perfect for the tournament. Okay, Costa Rica scored twice but we deserved to win and it was a fantastic win. Unfortunately, a lot of people here in Germany speak about the two goals we conceded rather than the four goals we scored, including the excellent goals from Lahm and Frings. I think about the four goals and that’s why I love the English attitude – you would talk about the four goals as well.

I BELIEVE England will improve in this tournament and the draw between Sweden and Trinidad & Tobago showed just how important the win against Paraguay was. They are now in complete charge of the group and will go through already if they beat Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday night. I think they will do that because they will be too strong for Trinidad & Tobago and I will be there to watch it as a pundit for German TV channel ZDF. The pressure is now on Sweden.

POLAND are next for Germany on Wednesday and it’s a special game. Poland are now under a lot of pressure after the defeat against Ecuador and they simply didn’t deserve anything from that game. The coach Pawel Janas made some unpopular decisions before the tournament by leaving out their top goalscorer in qualifiying, Tomasz Frankowski and goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek. However, Poland still have three or four very powerful players.

I think the fact that Poland have to try to win this game will help Germany. I think we will look to go forward anyway but not having the same pressure on us as Poland will be to our benefit, they will come forward and we will be able to catch them on counter-attacks. Of course, Michael Ballack will now come back into the team in the place of Borowski and he always seems to have one or two chances in a game. I think it will be very exciting and perhaps a 3-2 win for Germany.