Wednesday 13 December 2017

Argentina 'borderline legal'

Germany coach Joachim Loew has called Argentina "incredibly aggressive" and "borderline legal" on the field ahead of today's quarter-final.

Loew said Argentina are "physical to the limit" and that he expected the "greatest possible resistance" from the South Americans.

Recalling the scuffle that broke out after Germany eliminated Argentina on penalties in the quarter-finals four years ago, Loew, who was assistant coach at the time, said there had been no problems during the match.

"Until the penalties, the match was hard but not unfair or brutal," he said. "The problems came after the game and that's why we'll try to win before the penalties."

Loew praised Diego Maradona's team and said it had a very potent forward line.

"Just look at their bench: Diego Milito is a reserve and he was one of the top players in Europe. They have a lot of offensive quality and it's not only Lionel Messi," he said.

Loew also returned to the subject of Argentine behaviour.

"Their tackles are borderline legal," he said. "They are physical to the limit, it's their mentality.

"It has nothing to do with their real character -- they are friendly and warm people. But they are incredibly aggressive on the field and that's one of their strengths.

"We think highly of them as players and we know we'll run into the greatest possible resistance."

Irish Independent

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