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Beckenbauer continues mind games towards England team

Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer has claimed England have been "stupid" to set up a World Cup last-16 clash with Germany. And Beckenbauer, a World Cup winner as a coach and a player, believes the England players are "burnt out" following a gruelling Premier League season.

"A game like this should be a semi-final, not a last-16 game," said Beckenbauer in Germany's Bild newspaper.

"Stupidly, the English have slipped up a little by finishing second in their group."

However, Beckenbauer believes Germany are fresher than Fabio Capello's side and that this will work in their favour on Sunday.

"The English look a little tired," he said.

"There is a good reason for that: the Premier League players have got to play far more games than their Bundesliga colleagues, including two national cup competitions.

"Therefore, when it comes to a World Cup or a European Championships, they are burnt out.

"Our players, on the other hand, seem to be in a physically better condition.

"Of course we respect them, but we certainly don't fear them.

"England's first two appearances at the World Cup were paltry, but they improved against Slovenia."

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