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Schweinsteiger fit to face Italy, insists Loew

The Bayern Munich star took a full part in team training on Monday and having appeared to have no problems sprinting

AFP , Wednesday 27 Jun 2012
Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger prepares for a training prior to the Euro 2012 soccer semifinal match between Germany and Italy in Gdansk, Poland, Monday, June 25, 2012. (Photo: AP)
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Germany coach Joachim Loew said Tuesday star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will be fit to face Italy in Thursday's Euro 2012 semi-final.

The 27-year-old has been struggling to recover from the ankle ligaments he tore in February and a few passes went astray in Friday's 4-2 quarter-final win over the Greeks.

As the Germans' chief playmaker, he is a key part of their bid to win Euro 2012 and their first title in 16 years.

The Bayern Munich star took a full part in team training on Monday and having appeared to have no problems sprinting, Loew insists his star is ready to face the Azzurri.

"I only know 100 percent fit players," said Loew when asked if he would play Schweinsteiger if he was less than fit.

"He did have problems with his ankle, but he wasn't hindered from putting in a good performance or I wouldn't have started him.

"He had a few missed passes against Greece, but he was the first player to admit it shouldn't have happened to a player like him."

Having created both goals in the 2-1 group stage win over Holland, Schweinsteiger leads the German midfield in either defence or attack and has succeeded Michael Ballack as Loew's general in the middle of the pitch.

"He is as self-confident as we need him to be. We know, as he does, that he could have done better, but he is one of our leaders," said Loew.

"He is a player who pays a lot of attention to other things, he has matured tremendously over the last few years and I think in the first three group games he was very good.

"He has fantastic stamina, I am satisfied we will get a good performance from him."

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