Joachim Löw has said he wants to keep politics out of the picture when the German national team plays Greece in the second quarterfinal of the 2012 European Championships, on Saturday, at the PGE Arena in Poland.
There are several controversial add-ons to the game between the former champions, owing to the prevailing political condition and tension between Greece and Germany, as well as the as yet unsure future of the Euro. Löw feels matters like these should not be discussed during a football match.
"You know that we have a very good relationship with [German chancellor] Angela Merkel and we have an agreement that she will not dictate the team to me and I will not make any political statements. For us, it is a totally normal quarter-final against Greece and we are focusing on the sport," the Guardian quoted Löw as saying.
The coach also hit back at critics who said Germany were not the same attacking side they were at the 2010 World Cup.
"You think we have veered away from our attractive football? We beat Holland and Portugal after learning from conceding five against the Swiss that we had to find the right balance between defence and a strong attack," he said, according to a report in the Independent, adding, "If we were playing Brazil in a friendly match then you can play with an exciting all-out attack, but not in a tournament."
The 52 year old German boss further believes his side have played balanced football so far in the tournament.
"You have got to try and keep a clean sheet, but without just building a wall. There has been no wall-building here and we have been creating chances. Our attack remains our priority, but you have to find the right balance," he stressed again.
Much of that balance has come from the sterling work of central defenders Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich) and Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund) and, in a Sky Sports report, Badstuber was quoted as being pleased with their performances so far.
"I think we have done a good job so far. Of course we still have room for improvement, like the whole team, but we can be pleased with our defence against teams like Portugal and Holland," the defender said.
Finally, the popular notion that the German backline will not be placed under too much stress by a Greek side not known for scoring goals has been dismissed.
"They have never beaten us, but the important thing is that we get it right in our heads and don't take them lightly. They have beaten Russia, who had been a good team until then, so we are warned and are preparing well," added Badstuber.