German defenders inspired by Mertesacker

19 June 2012 04:17

Defender Holger Badstuber has said Germany's centre-backs can ill afford a mistake against Greece in Friday's quarter-final with Arsenal's Per Mertesacker waiting in the wings.

"Per is an important element of the group, he is a popular and very experienced player," said Badstuber. "That is what counts and anyone who says his era (in the national team) is over is a complete idiot. Per has had a difficult last six months and his injury took a long time to heal. Before the Euro he didn't play a real game and that made things difficult for him."

Germany coach Joachim Loew has said he opted for Hummels and Badstuber, in preference to Mertesacker, because the pair had both held down regular spots for their respective clubs and is pleased with their development so far.

Source: AFP