Germany midfielder Thomas Muller has accused the media of having unrealistic expectations of the team at UEFA EURO 2012. Joachim Low's side breezed into the last eight with three wins out of three from a tough Group B, although their performances have arguably been less impressive than they were two years ago when they finished third at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
Bayern Munich's man Muller finished as top goalscorer at that tournament and the expectations were high of him this time around too. He missed a clear chance in the 2-1 win over Denmark which booked Germany's place in the quarter-finals, but believes he and the national team have deserved more praise than criticism in Poland and Ukraine.
"Right now, we get the feeling that, were we to win EURO 2012, we ought to be ashamed of doing so," he said. "I know the expectations were high after the World Cup, but the two situations cannot be compared.
"Let's remember too that we were not so stunning at the World Cup in the group stage, apart from the Australia game. Because the expectations are so high, mistakes are being looked for, but I think we have exceeded the expectations by getting nine points. The media are not really reflecting that and I hope we can start to build it up now."
Germany face Greece in the last eight and Muller is not even contemplating any negative thoughts ahead of Friday's clash. When asked if he would be able to tolerate a defeat, he said: "Not at all. Of course if we were to go out, we would have to accept it as there is nothing you can do, but we have not thought about it. Our train of thought is a successful one and losing does not come into it. It is unimaginable."
At the same time, Germany are not getting ahead of themselves. The prize for the winner of Friday's clash in Gdansk is a semi-final meeting with either England or Italy, while defending champions Spain are potential final opponents. "Even if you may not believe me, we are only thinking about Greece," said Sami Khedira.
"This European Championship has already shown that surprises are not impossible. We said before the tournament began that we have to concentrate and the biggest danger would be if we think of the final. Italy or England are no worse than Spain, but we are only thinking about Greece now."
And, according to the Real Madrid midfielder, beating the Greeks is going to be a big enough challenge. "First of all, we have got to be patient," he said. "Then it will be important that we have lots of movement in our game.
"If you are moving and try to open up holes, then you have good chances, but it is very difficult to break this bastion. We have good solutions and now we have got to implement them. The Denmark game was a good taste of things to come. The games are not going to get any easier."