Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil recognises the qualities that Euro 2012 semi-final opponents Italy possess, but is confident that he and his team-mates will advance to the final at their expense.
Italy booked a place in the last four after beating England on penalties on Sunday night, but the Azzurri are the underdogs against Joachim Low's in-form side, who are the highest scorers at this year's tournament.
And though Germany have never beaten Italy at a major finals, Ozil believes the hoodoo will be ended in Warsaw this Thursday, with a place in the final against Spain or Portugal the winners' reward.
"The past does not matter," Ozil said. "The other teams have great respect for us. Our goal is to bring the European title back to Germany. We are here for this. We can beat Italy and we want the title.
“Andrea Pirlo is a world-class player, Mario Balotelli is a great striker. But we do not think of the individual adversaries. Italy are a very compact team, but we can beat them."
Should Germany progress they may face Spain in Kiev on Sunday, in what would be a repeat of the Euro 2008 final and 2010 World Cup semi-final. But Ozil insists he is not thinking about the prospect of a rematch against La Roja, whose side includes a number of his Real Madrid team-mates.
"It would be wrong for me to say Germany against Spain would be a 'dream final'," he said. "There are four teams in the semi-finals and we need to make the next step, which also applies to Spain.
"We're fully concentrated on Italy and Italy only, and only then will we see who we play against. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter, does it? Whether it's Spain or Portugal."
Ozil produced a virtuoso display in Germany's quarter-final victory over Greece and was pleased to make his mark in the 4-2 win.
"I was immensely happy to have shown what I can do at last," he said. "I will demonstrate in the game against Italy that I can put my foot on the pedal."© ESPN