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Sizing up La Liga title contenders

La Liga
By ESPN Staff

Klinsmann hails Germany's extra man

BERLIN, June 20 (Reuters) - Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann said the crowd in Berlin's Olympiastadion had helped to drive his team to a 3-0 World Cup win over Ecuador on Tuesday.

'When you play at home you have the crowd behind you and that gives the players an extra push. It's World Cup fever,' Klinsmann told German TV.

'Our goal was to win the group and we achieved that. It was difficult to keep the pace up because it was hot out there but overall we are happy and looking forward to the knockout games.'

Captain Michael Ballack said Germany were riding on a wave of euphoria.

'All three games have been great fun. Playing at home is a great plus for us,' Ballack told German TV.

'We need to be at our best in the knockout stages,' he added, saying he was not particularly concerned who Germany face in the next round.

'If we play at our best, we can beat England. It's not as if Sweden are a lot weaker,' he said.

Group A winners Germany will play the runners-up in Group B -- either Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago or England -- in the second round.

Ecuador coach Luis Fernando Suarez said his team had not been at their best.

'Germany played a great match but we contributed to their good display,' he told reporters. 'It was a bit of both.

'I don't want to take away from the performance of the German team but I think we could have done better.'