Gotze dismisses Boatengs Germany dig
Mario Gotze on Tuesday jumped to the defence of his Germany team after Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng described the German squad as "characterless" ahead of next month's World Cup clash.
The Germans host Poland in Hamburg on Tuesday in the first of their three friendly warm-ups and Goetze has said Germany deserve their status amongst the World Cup favourites, five weeks before facing Ghana at Brazil 2014.
"We definitely have a good squad, with great players and great ambition, and as a football player you have to be able to deal well with pressure," said Bayern Munich's midfielder Goetze.
Germany are set to face Ghana in both teams' second Group G match in Fortaleza on June 21 with the World Cup to kick off on June 12.
Schalke midfielder Boateng turned up the heat for the showdown on Monday by insisting the Germans lack a strong leader, like former captains Stefan Effenberg or Michael Ballack.
"Germany have a superior team - and that's the problem," said Ghana midfielder Boateng, who is set to face his brother Jerome Boateng, a Germany centre-back, in Fortaleza.
"Germany are feeling the pressure to be world champions, but they don't have the characters and types of player to deal with that in Brazil, someone like an Effenberg or a Ballack.
"When the pressure comes on, they (Germany) don't pull through."
After Boateng added that Germany's vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger has been short on leadership in the past and "just wants to play his football in peace", Gotze said Schweinsteiger's experience speaks for itself.
"Bastian is a seasoned player and has already won many titles," Goetze said of the 29-year-old Schweinsteiger, who has just won his seventh Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich and will be appearing at his third World Cup.
"You don't achieve what he has done without special qualities in your game."
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