Michael Ballack has added to the mind games ahead of Tuesday’s fixture at Wembley by stating that his homeland are a superior footballing side to the hosts.
With old rivalries set to be resumed at Wembley on Tuesday night when England host Germany, a number of prominent figures on either side have been adding their thoughts on the game and the respective nations’ chances at next summer’s World Cup.
The latest to add his opinion is former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack.
The retired German enforcer has stated that the Three Lions will not be one of the favourites going into next summer’s tournament in Brazil, and that Joachim Low’s men are superior to Tuesday’s hosts.
"I don't see England as being the same level as teams like Germany or Spain. They're a bit behind," Ballack told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek.
"They have a lot of talented players, but are still a big name. We always had great respect when we played England.
"This is not a real friendly game. England are playing Germany and it's always a big rivalry.
"At the next World Cup England must use their name, use their quality and have confidence. Then everything is possible.
"When Germany goes to a big tournament we know we have to deliver because teams before us have done it.
"We don't want to be the team that goes out of the tournament early, so that creates a certain type of pressure."
The friendly fixture will have a significant bearing on England’s preparations ahead of the World Cup, with a positive result needed after they were dispatched 2-0 by Chile on Friday night.
If Roy Hodgson’s men have any ambitions of reaching the latter stages of the competition in Brazil next summer, teams like Germany will be lying in wait – this is an excellent opportunity for England to measure themselves against a top side.
On home soil England must be aggressive and take the game to the Germans, rather than sit back and wait for the talented visitors to come to them.
Ballack’s words will be motivation for the home side, who will look to redeem themselves and prove they can be a force to be reckoned with in South America next year.
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