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Playing the host

Posted on 25 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 has first-hand experience of Germany beating the hosts to reach a major final - remember Euro 96?

Six years ago, our marauding midfielder was a member of the German team that broke England's hearts in the European Championship semi-final at Wembley Stadium. They went on to win the trophy.

Now the current German crop are in the same boat as that successful side as they take on co-hosts South Korea this afternoon in the World Cup semi-final at Seoul (12.30pm).

Steffen's Tottenham team-mate Christian Ziege is expected to line-up for Germany against the side that has shocked Portugal, Italy and Spain to reach the last four.

Steffen pondered: "This semi-final against South Korea is exactly the same situation as we found ourselves in in Euro 96, facing the tournament hosts in their own stadium.

"But, for me, this game could be easier than Paraguay and America.

"To play against Germany in a semi-final is always difficult. We have been there before and it will be a new experience for South Korea. I think we will win.

"The atmosphere in South Korea has been amazing. The crowd is very noisy and right behind them, it will be party time from the first minute.

"That is why I think Germany will havea slight edge - we have always enjoyed playing in games like that.

"I remember Euro 96 and the whole of England was behind the England team. I will never forget how proud I was to walk out at Wembley in that semi-final and, again, we managed to win on penalties.

"I take us to win - even if it's on the golden goal or penalties. It has been a surprise for us to reach that far, but perhaps we should never be surprised by Germany at a major tournament."