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Sunday, July 4, 2010
German press hails national side

After scoring four goals in a game for the third time at this World Cup, Germany are "within touching distance of the title'', according to the Welt newspaper.

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Saturday's emphatic 4-0 thrashing of Argentina has taken Germany through to the last four in convincing style and put them well on course for the vierte Stern - the fourth title - in their history.

"This young German team is storming from win to win with a kind of football which is spellbinding the whole of the world,'' says Welt. "The happy end to this summer fairytale is moving even closer.''

Welt even risked making a comparison between Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lionel Messi, and after a game like Saturday's, it is no surprise that the Bayern Munich midfielder came out on top.

"Better than Messi: Schweinsteiger completes his masterpiece,'' explains Welt, adding that it was his "best game of the World Cup''.

Two other Germany players were picked out by the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper for praise.

Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose scored just five goals between them in the Bundesliga last season and there had been calls for them to be left out of the squad with the likes of 18-goal hitman Kevin Kuranyi knocking on the national team door. However, Low insisted that the two strikers had never let him down, and has been proven correct.

"Did he know that Podolski and Klose could turn from Bundesliga kittens into national team lions?'' asked Suddeutsche. "Germany has to think back a long time to find a team with such talent. It is Low's merit in noticing this talent and nurturing it.''

Even the injury to Michael Ballack in the build-up to the World Cup is now regarded as a blessing in disguise. The man still regarded as the true Germany captain, even if Philipp Lahm is wearing the armband on the pitch, was a spectator in Cape Town yesterday, and Suddeutsche suggests that is just fine.

"The injury to Ballack, however hard it is for him, was a lucky break for Low,'' it claimed. "The 33-year-old was the last dominator who wanted to dictate the game as the leader and make the decisions. Without him, Low was able to give Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Mertesacker and Podolski more responsibility.

"Since these players are not such dominant, leading players but rather more keen on a harmonious atmosphere in which even the young players feel at home, a team full of power, energy and enjoyment was born.''

Meanwhile, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper labelled Low's troops a "dream team''.

"The footballing quality and the extra class of the national team coach make an almost unbelievable triumph possible,'' added FAZ.

Finally, Bild newspaper thanks its "heroes'' who "the whole world is celebrating''.

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