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Bavarian-Argentine showdown

Friendship to one side in head-to-head

Germany’s FCB men and “Gaucho” Martin Demichelis will set aside their long friendships when the two countries clash in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday. “He’s my friend today, but for a short time on Saturday he’s not,” confirmed Bastian Schweinsteiger, one of eight FCB stars in the German party.

For his part, Demichelis reported “a few texts” sent to the German camp. “We’re good friends.” However, there has been no contact since the Round of 16. “I know them all, the defence and the attack, from the keeper to Klose. I know their weaknesses, and I’ve told the coach and my team-mates,” Demichelis revealed.

Maradona’s 'Señor Central'

“It's a special occasion for Micho,” José Sosa told, “he has the advantage of knowing all about the German players, and he’ll be giving his team-mates a few tips.” Naturally, that also works in reverse.

Demichelis is a fixture as Señor Central in Maradona’s defence. He will certainly come up against Miroslav Klose, and may be called on to deal with Thomas Müller and Bastian Schweinsteiger. And Mario Gomez could yet make an appearance too. “But it’ll be tough,” acknowledged Klose.

Revenge for 2006

“We have the quality to beat Argentina,” continued the FCB striker, set for his 100th cap on Saturday. However, Maradona’s men have been in excellent form at the World Cup so far, and are also smarting from events four years ago. “My lads are thinking only about the game, and the chance to take revenge,” claimed Maradona. Klose agreed: “We know they want to get us back for 2006.”