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Germany Relaxed and Ready to Enjoy Final, Says Loew

The pressure is off and Germany's players should now simply enjoy being in the Euro 2008 final, coach Joachim Loew said as his players prepare for Sunday's final.

German national soccer team Joachim Loew

Jogi Loew and his players are in relaxed mood ahead of the final

Loew said he has not planned an analysis of the 3-2 win over Turkey in the semi-finals, but rather hoped that the lack of pressure would lift the team in Vienna against Spain.

"We are happy to make the final. There is no more pressure now, we want to enjoy it. We are really looking forward to the final," Loew told a news conference at the team's Euro camp in southern Switzerland.

Philipp Lahm was the hero with a 90th-minute winner after Germany were at times outplayed by a lively Turkey team. The match resembled the game against Croatia in the group stage where Germany lost 2-1.

Loew admitted that he continued to pack the midfield with five men because he didn't want to fall behind in the second half. "I don't know whether we could have made up a deficit in the second half," he admitted.

The tactics worked well in the 3-2 quarter-final defeat of Portugal where the Germans played a classy match, but Loew said that you can't expect consistency at such a tournament.

Never-say-die

German players celebrate their 3-2 win at the end of the semifinal match between Germany and Turkey in Basel

German players celebrate their 3-2 win over Turkey

Loew praised the famed German fighting spirit when questioned by a BBC reporter whether it was luck or German values that earned the three-time champions at World Cups and Euros a 13th major final.

"Just lucky," he quipped before adding on a serious note: "I believe that we have this faith in ourselves to turn around matters through our tournament experience from many years. Our team has developed this mentality to believe in victory even if we don't play well. The winning mentality is strong in Germany and has always been a trademark of the team."

For Loew personally, it is instant success in his first big event as head coach, a feat only Jupp Derwall achieved before when he won Euro 1980. "It is very special for me to be in the final. I cherish this moment," said Loew.

He said he had no preference when it comes to the opponent, saying that both Spain and Russia "play outstanding soccer."

The coach did not reveal whether he will use the same motivation program on Sunday as he did ahead of the semi-final when he showed the players a DVD with footage from the big German crowds at the fan zones.

"I showed them the millions of fans supporting us," said Loew.

Fans' expectations

German fans

German fans in a joyous mood

The team will have to live up to the expectations again on Sunday with Chancellor Angela Merkel in the stadium again and former coach Juergen Klinsmann also invited to watch the team he originally formed during his 2004-2006 reign with Loew as assistant.

But the players insist that they are ready to deliver now that they have almost reached the summit of the German "Mountain Tour 2008."

"We want to win this final," said forward Lukas Podolski, and Lahm agreed: "We want to bring the title to Germany."

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