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Germany captain Lahm admits - 'We wanted England'

Germany skipper Philipp Lahm admits his team would have preferred to play England in the Euro2012 semi-final.

Die Mannschaft take on Italy in Warsaw tonight after the Azzurri beat the Three Lions on penalties in the quarter-final and Lahm has given some confidence to the Italians by admitting he wanted to play Roy Hodgson's England in the final four.

"We wanted England," Lahm said. "They carried less of a threat than Italy and history dictates that we always come out on top against the English.

"The other advantage of facing England is memories of us beating them 4-1 at the 2010 World Cup would have been at the forefront of their minds.

"And to be fair, Germany have improved since then whereas England have struggled, particularly at this tournament."

He added: "Of course, Italy carry a threat.< p> "(Andrea)Pirlo is having a great tournament and is at the heart of everything good about Italy. It's important we address the threat and limit the time he has on the ball. And (Mario) Balotelli is very dangerous if he's given time and space.

"We are on course to make history and we are in no mood to disappoint."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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