Germany may have put in their best ever group stage performance at a European Championship, winning all three matches, but the players are feeling none of the euphoria they expected ahead of Friday’s quarter-final with Greece.
“At public viewing areas in Germany there is the enthusiasm but not much is being transported over to us here,” said midfielder Thomas Mueller.
“We need to build it up a bit because it feels like even if we win title that we should be ashamed of it,” he said.
Mueller blamed German media for being too critical despite the team’s flawless campaign in qualifying and at the tournament so far.
The three-time European champions are odds-on favourites to beat Greece in Gdansk and book a place in the last four, having won 14 competitive games in a row after losing their 2010 World Cup semi-final to Spain.
Almost half a million people in Berlin alone have watched their games in the capital’s massive public viewing area since the start of the tournament earlier this month.
“The expectations are high but I find it strange that there is so much stepping on the euphoria brake and looking for mistakes. We won three straight group games, we have exceeded expectations,” added Mueller.
“It should be a bit more positive than it is depicted in the media. I as a player hope that there is a bit more euphoria. We are not receiving it here,” he said.
Germany will at least have the support of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the stands on Friday after she rescheduled her programme and decided to attend the match.