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Jul 12, 2014

Schweinsteiger: Germany in top shape

Bastian Schweinsteiger is confident Germany will not buckle under pressure on Sunday when they face Argentina in the World Cup final.

Although Joachim Low's squad is a young one, it is full of experience, with a number of players having contested a Champions League final, while Miroslav Klose reached the World Cup final 12 years ago.

Schweinsteiger himself has played in 11 finals during his 12-year career, and the Bayern Munich midfielder thinks that experience will come in handy on Sunday.

"There's huge anticipation, but we have no pressure on us,'' he told a prematch news conference. "We have lots of players among our 23-man squad who have played in finals at a high level.

"We know how to handle things. We even have Miroslav Klose who has played in a World Cup final before, but others who have played in big finals for their clubs and have been outstanding.

"We just have to concentrate on our jobs and what makes us strong.''

Schweinsteiger was part of the Germany squad that made it to the last four in South Africa four years ago.

And after hammering Brazil in such convincing style during the semifinals, the midfielder is confident of taking home his first World Cup winner's medal on Sunday.

He said: "I just have a good feeling about tomorrow. I'm quite confident for this final and really looking forward to it.

"We're in top shape after the match against Brazil. We know we have the capacity to play good football. We just have to tap into our potential.''

Much has been made of Argentina's reliance on Lionel Messi during this tournament, but Schweinsteiger is wary of the quality in the rest of the opposition squad.

Of particular concern to Schweinsteiger is Javier Mascherano, who kept Argentina in the World Cup with a crucial last-gasp challenge on Arjen Robben in the semifinal.

"Mascherano was the leader of a pack of wolves in the semifinal,'' Schweinsteiger said.

"I remember the last minute against Netherlands when he tackled Robben and stopped him scoring. That shows his attitude.

"It will certainly not be easy for us, but I'm quite convinced that, if we are able to play to our potential, we can beat even such a top-class team.''

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