Lahm: at last Germany get to play a top team

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The Independent Football

Germany captain Philipp Lahm rubbed salt in England's wounds yesterday when he said his side needed to beat a "top team" to prove themselves at the World Cup.

Germany face Argentina in the quarter-finals tomorrow after hammering England 4-1 in the second round, and Lahm said yesterday: "It is time we beat a top team. Our young team has to show that it can beat a top team like Argentina in 90 minutes."

The full-back also ramped up the rivalry with Argentina, accusing them of being bad losers. A day after the Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger called the Argentines "disrespectful", his captain said they did not know how to deal with a defeat. "We know South Americans are impulsive and temperamental and cannot lose," said Lahm. "We will see on Saturday how they will lose and how they will behave after a defeat."

Germany beat Argentina in the 2006 quarter-finals on penalties before a brawl broke out between the teams at the end of the match.

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