Euro 2024: Sane banking on Kroos control for Germany to beat Spain in quarter-final clash on Friday

Euro 2024: Sane banking on Kroos control for Germany to beat Spain in quarter-final clash on Friday

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 Germany winger Leroy Sane said his side could "hurt" Spain in Friday's Euro 2024 quarter-final, thanks to the impressive return of midfielder Toni Kroos.

Sane started from the bench in all three of Germany's pool games but returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Florian Wirtz in Saturday's last 16 win over Denmark.

With pre-tournament favourites England and France struggling despite reaching the quarter-finals, Spain has emerged alongside hosts Germany as favourites for the tournament.

The only side to win all four of their games, Spain are the form team of the tournament, having scored nine goals and conceded just one.

Sane said Germany and Spain had "played the best football" of the tournament. "We need to keep control of our game, then we can hurt the Spaniards."

Both Spain and Germany each have three Euros titles — more than any other team.

Germany lost 6-0 to Spain in the Nations League in 2020, during a desperately poor period.

After winning the 2014 World Cup and reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2016, Germany was eliminated at the group stage of the past two World Cups and lost to England in the last 16 of the Euros in 2021. "The heavy defeat hurt a lot, but that's in the past," Sane, who started that match in Seville, told reporters.

The 28-year-old Bayern Munich winger said 2014 World Cup winner Kroos, who returned to the national team in the lead-up to Euro 2024 having retired from international football three years prior, had given Germany control again.

"Before we weren't always stable enough, that was a big weakness of ours. "He took away that weakness with the calmness he brings with him. Now things are going well and we're happy he's come back and made us stronger."

Handed his first Germany start of 2024, Sane struggled for rhythm against Denmark but provided speed running behind the lines.

The former Manchester City winger said "It is still not clear whether I will start or not," but the team's trust in coach Julian Nagelsmann's decisions "is what makes us special".

Midfielder Emre Can was the only member of Germany's 26-man squad not to train on Tuesday, but the federation said his omission was just a precaution.

Antonio Rudiger, Manuel Neuer, and Pascal Gross completed the training session despite carrying niggling injuries.