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Pressure good for us: Andre

Andre Schuerrle

Rio de Janeiro: Andre Schuerrle believes that Germany can win the World Cup despite toiling hard against Algeria in the pre-quarter finals on Monday. Schuerrle had scored in Germany’s 2-1 win over Algeria to set up their quarter final tie against France in Rio de Janeiro.

“When you come to a World Cup with Germany you are expected to win it,” the 23-year-old Chelsea forward said.

“We don’t go to a World Cup just to take part. When you have this team with all these players, everyone in our country and all around the world has big expectations of us. This is always the way… We have big ambitions and we have that feeling more than ever now that we are into the last eight.”

It is the kind of bold statement that may open up the forward to the accusation of arrogance but Schuerrle will, given the sense that Germany appear to have got everything right in the last few years apart from winning a trophy, believe it is a justifiable claim; or at least a legitimate aspiration.

Given the unconvincing nature of the victory against the Algerians, there are fresh doubts in the German camp. Although Thomas Mueller grew in influence Germany are also ruing the absence of a top-quality central striker, given Miroslav Klose is now 36, and were reliant on an impressive performance from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to repel Algeria.

Loew has already described the quarter final at the Maracana on Friday as a “classic” encounter and it will also revive memories of the extraordinary semi-final between the two countries in Spain in the 1982 World Cup when Germany came from 1-3 down in extra time to win on penalties.

Schuerrle was not even born then but he is well aware of the rivalry between the two nations. “They are our neighbours. They are our rivals,” he said. “We will throw everything at France.”

Schuerrle acknowledged that, despite his declaration of Germany’s intent, it would be difficult for them to become the first European nation to win the World Cup in South America.

“Many teams have quality squads,” Schuerrle said. “France are going to be difficult and it will be a nice match. There are many sides who can win this.

“We will have to do it the hard way, but if you want to win the World Cup you have to play against every top team,” Schuerrle said. “So you'll be under pressure all the time because every match is going to be tight. You cannot relax. But then, this pressure can bring out the best in the players. So, in a way, pressure is good for us.” (Agencies)