Germany's assistant coach Hansi Flick on Friday apologised for the faux pas he made after suggesting the Germans should "wear steel helmets and stand tall" against Portugal in their Euro 2012 match.
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Flick made the remark at an early morning press conference in Gdansk, Poland, when asked how Germany should defend their goal from Portugal's dead-ball specialist Cristiano Ronaldo in Saturday's Group B match.
Germany are based in Gdansk, the city where the opening shots of World War II were fired by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime on September 1 1939, and the German team quickly issued a statement with Flick apologising for his clumsy remark.
"I'm sorry if there has been any irritation caused by an unfortunate remark I made," said Flick after the squad landed in the Ukraine.
"It is usually not my way of expressing myself with a military vocabulary when talking about sporting matters.
"I apologise for my language and I am annoyed with myself about it, because I know how sensitively we are trying to deal with this issue."
The Germany team have been on a charm offensive since arriving in Poland on Monday and after several thousand fans attended their open training in Gdansk, hours after their arrival, the players gave away hundreds of free footballs.
Last Friday, a delegation from the German Football Federation including head coach Joachim Loew and captain Philipp Lahm visited the site of Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, near Krakow, where more than a million jews were murdered.