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Julian Nagelsmann: Germany polished and primed for Spain showdown

Julian Nagelsmann says Germany are "well-prepared and confident" for Friday's Euro 2024 quarterfinal showdown with Spain in what will be a meeting between the two most successful sides in the competition's history.

After seeing off Denmark in the last 16, Germany will again carry the weight of an expectant nation when they tackle the in-form La Roja in Stuttgart.

Nagelsmann understands the additional focus on his side, but insists the players must not allow anything to distract them from the challenge of ending Spain's own hopes of more European glory, with both nations having won the tournament a record three times.

"It is one of the more important games, without a doubt, but our preparations have been identical (to previous games)," the Germany coach said at a press conference.

"Everything is staying the same — and that has nothing to do with superstition.

"Our preparations are complete, hopefully. We had a lot of individual chats yesterday and watched a lot of videos.

"We are well prepared and confident we can put in a good performance.

"We feel the support, we need it because it carries us. I hope we can give that back."

Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan will come up against some of his Barcelona team-mates on Friday night, but is relishing the challenge.

"From now on, every game is a final and I am sure both teams will play like it is," Gundogan said.

"It speaks for both teams when people say we are the two best teams (of the tournament) which shows we have done a lot of things right, if not perfectly."

Spain have coasted through to the last eight, with three straight wins to top Group B and then ending the hopes of Georgia with an impressive 4-1 victory in Cologne.

La Roja have not lost to Germany in a competitive fixture since 1988, winning both the final of the 2008 European Championship in Vienna and the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Despite that impressive record, Spain head coach Luis de la Fuente feels his side must expect a stern test against the tournament hosts.

"It could have been the final of the European Championship, but I think it will be an even game on a footballing level," De la Fuente said at a press conference.

"Germany always start games in a really powerful way, so obviously we will try and counteract that.

"We will try and take the initiative and go all-out from the first minute, to minimise their strengths and exploit their weaknesses."

De la Fuente added: "The closer you get to the final, only the best remain. Nothing is free here.

"Whoever goes through will go through because they are a great team, but in football, the best team doesn't always go through."

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