11 July 2014 04:44
Germany defender Benedikt Howedes said only a team effort can stop Argentina star Lionel Messi in Sunday’s FIFA World Cup final.
Messi is without a goal in the knockout stages after starring in Group F with four, but he remains a key in Alejandro Sabella’s team.
Howedes, likely to start at left-back at the Estadio do Maracana, said relying on an individual to stop Messi was unrealistic.
“I’ll do my part, but it will be a collective effort,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“That’s how even a player of such quality can be stopped.”
Usually a centre-back, Howedes has done a good job on the left for Joachim Low’s men.
He said just being a part of the back four has helped boost Germany, who go into Sunday’s final as favourites after their 7-1 hammering of Brazil.
“Since we are in the final, I must have done something right,” Howedes said.
“I am playing in a position for which I haven’t trained, but I think I am helping the team with my presence.”
Schalke defender Howedes said it was hard to believe what Germany had achieved.
“For me, it’s completely crazy what’s going on. I still can’t believe it,” he said.
“It’s huge what’s happening to me and the final will be the highlight. We want the title.”