Podolski: Germany don't have a star like Neymar

The striker feels his side operate much better as a unit than Brazil, who have lost their star player for the remainder of the tournament

By Greg Stobart in Rio de Janeiro

Lukas Podolski has admitted that Germany do not boast a star player like Neymar but he believes their collective strength can secure a place in the World Cup final.

Germany face hosts Brazil in the semi-final in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday after both teams won their quarter-final matches on Friday.

Naymar has been the star of the Brazil side in the tournament, scoring four goals in four five games before he broke a vertebra in Friday's win over Colombia, bringing his tournament to an end. The injury comes as a huge blow as they lose their main source of creativity and goals.

And Podolski feels are much better as a Unit than Brazil, as they do not rely on individuals, but feels they must now prove they are the best team in the world.

“We feel that we don’t have players like Messi or Neymar who can make a goal with one special movement, but we have a strong team,” Podolski said. “Everyone sticks together and this is important.

“You are only the best team in the world when you win the World Cup. When you lose the semi-final, you are out. So we have to win. We play to win.

“Of course, to play against Brazil in Brazil will be a special game. It will be a great game for the world but we have two matches to go and we want the title.

“We can be the first European team to win a World Cup in South America. It won’t be easy because a lot of European teams are out, but we are here and we are strong.

“The World Cup is not a competition where the team that plays the best football wins the tournament.”