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Pique expects close semi-final with Germany
Gerard Pique has told Germany there are "no favourites" when the World Cup reaches the semi-final stage.
The Spanish defender has been impressed with Germany's form on the way to the last four in defeating England 4-1 and then Argentina 4-0 in back-to-back games. But former Manchester United man Pique believes the European champions' never-say-die attitude could be crucial.
Pique, who now plays for Barcelona, said: "I feel so happy for the team and the country. It is the first time we are in the semi-finals and it is great to make history."
He added: "Germany are a very difficult team, really strong, with a lot of quality, a lot of good players, and it will be difficult to stop them.
"I don't know why they are so impressive. Maybe it is because they have a lot of new young players.
"The likes of Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Sami Khedira are new in the team and they are playing great.
"Some were playing for their under-21s last summer and they have made the step up."
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