Gdansk, Poland: Midfielder Marco Reus has said Germany have proved they are the team to beat ahead of Thursday's Euro 2012 semi-final and insisted the Germans are better than possible opponents England.
Germany trounced Greece 4-2 at Arena Gdansk in Friday's quarter-final as Reus marked his first start at Euro 2012 with a goal on only his seventh appearance in the national team.
In the Warsaw semi-final, Germany will face either England or Italy, who meet on Sunday in the Kiev quarter-final, and while Reus credited England in performing better here than had been predicted - they finished top of their group - he said the Germans were still the better team.
"I think England have stepped up and exceeded everyone's expectations, also they have added Wayne Rooney (who was suspended for the first two games but played and scored in the third group game the 1-0 win over Ukraine) to their line-up," said the 23-year-old who will join German champions Borussia Dortmund next season.
"I still think we have the better squad, both individually and as a team.
"The European title is in our hands.
"Prior to the tournament, our objective was to win the trophy, now we have stepped up our performances."
Germany coach Joachim Loew sprang a surprise before kick-off against Greece by naming the former Borussia Moenchengladbach star and Bayer Leverkusen's Andre Schuerrle in his starting line-up.
The pair both said they have no preference whether Germany play Italy or England for a place in the final in Kiev on July 1.
"England have a 4-4-2 system, they play deep and are trying to lie in wait before they hit you on the counter-attack," said Schuerrle.
"Wayne Rooney is a tremendously important figure for them.
"Italy have taken me a bit by surprise, I think they play very forward-orientated football and have created lots of goal scoring chances."
Schuerrle echoed Reus' sentiments that Germany have justified their status as pre-tournament favourites.
With defending champions Spain on the other side of the draw, the Germans still have much to do in their bid to win a fourth European title and first trophy in 16 years.
"We have proven that people's assessment of us as pre-tournament favourites is true, that was important to us," said the 21-year-old.
"We approach the semi-final with real self confidence, we have confirmed our status."
Germany now have five days to prepare for their Warsaw semi-final, but Schuerrle said he wishes there was less time.
"The days will drag a bit and I almost hope we had less time, but it will give us more time to regenerate and get ready," added Schuerrle.