Talk of avenging the 2-0 World Cup final defeat against Wednesday night's opponents Brazil has been dismissed by German coach Jürgen Klinsmann. The friendly in Berlin will be all about Germany's future not its past.
Jürgen Klinsmann looks ahead to the 2006 World Cup not back to 2002
Germany's new national team chief Jürgen Klinsmann pits his fledgling coaching skills against the World Champions Brazil on Wednesday night in his first real test as head of the country's soccer stars.
And the former Germany striker is optimistic his fully fit and highly motivated side can build on the 3-1 success over Austria in his first game to wipe away the still painful memories of the 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Brazilians in the 2002 World Cup final.
"A coach couldn't wish for a better opportunity," beamed Klinsmann at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday. "I'm absolutely convinced there will be an explosive atmosphere."
"This fixture is a classic and every single player will be particularly motivated," Klinsmann added. "I want the players to be more active, to move the ball forward quickly and to always do what's best for the team. I also want them to believe in themselves because football is very much a mental thing."
First home game will be crucial
Klinsmann will be facing a home crowd for the first time in his short reign since he took over the running of the national team from Rudi Völler after the Euro 2004 debacle. The former Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Monaco striker is hoping to get the support of a skeptical audience in Berlin's renovated Olympic Stadium where the friendly match is being played.
Joachim Löw, Jürgen Klinsmann and Oliver Bierhoff want new scores settled not old ones.
Despite being the first meeting between the two teams since Germany's stumble at the final hurdle at the World Cup in Japan/Korea in 2002, the coaching team of Klinsmann, fellow ex-striker Oliver Bierhoff and Joachim Löw have been quick to play down talk of a revenge match against the team that ended Germany's improbable shot at glory two years ago, preferring to look to the future rather than the past.
"We want to know where the team stands 21 months before the 2006 World Cup, which is so important for German football," Bierhoff told the assembled reporters on Tuesday.
Players dismiss talk of revenge
The players themselves are also unconcerned about avenging the heart-breaking defeat in Yokohama. "Talking about revenge is absurd," Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn told magazine Kicker. "You cannot compare a World Cup final with a friendly match."
Meanwhile, Brazilian-born Germany striker Kevin Kuranyi also has other things on his mind, like showing the country of his birth what it let slip away. "Things have been going well for me recently and it would be great to score a goal against Brazil," the 22-year-old Stuttgart player told the press conference. "Hopefully, the Brazilians will know about me after the game."
Kuranyi spent the first 13 years of his life in Brazil before moving to Germany via Panama and coming to prominence in the Bundesliga, where he decided his allegiance would be with the German national team.
The much-anticipated return of Deisler
Another German player who will want to show the Brazilians what he is made of on the international stage is Sebastian Deisler, although it would not matter to the Bayern Munich midfielder who the opponents were on Wednesday evening.
Almost exactly a year to the day since he last pulled on a national team jersey, the 24-year-old Deisler will be looking to pull down the curtain on a troublesome year of injuries and depression by lining up alongside Bayern Munich club-mates Michael Ballack and Torsten Frings in the heart of Klinsmann's midfield. "He's ready for it, is having fun in all training sessions and also away from training," revealed Klinsmann's right-hand man Joachim Low.
Germany: Oliver Kahn; Andreas Hinkel, Frank Baumann, Frank Fahrenhorst, Philipp Lahm; Sebastian Deisler, Torsten Frings, Bernd Schneider, Michael Ballack; Kevin Kuranyi, Gerald Asamoah.
Brazil: Julio Cesar; Belletti, Juan, Roque Junior, Roberto Carlos; Renato, Edmilson, Ronaldinho, Edu; Adriano, Ronaldo.
Referee: Urs Meier (Switzerland)