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The striker feels that his side operate much better as a unit than Brazil, who have lost their star player for the remainder of the tournament after an injury on Friday

By Greg Stobart in Rio de Janeiro

Lukas Podolski accepts that Germany do not boast a star player like Neymar but believes that their collective strength can secure a place in the World Cup final.

Joachim Low's side face the hosts in the semi-final in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday but the Selecao will be without their poster-boy after he broke a vertebra in Friday's win over Colombia.

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Podolski feels that Germany are much better as a unit than Brazil, as they do not rely on individuals, but says that they must now prove that they are the best team in the world.

He told the press: "We feel that we don't have players like Messi or Neymar who can make a goal with one special movement but we have a strong team. Everyone sticks together and this is important.

"You are only the best team in the world when you win the World Cup. When you lose the semi-final, you are out so we have to win. We play to win.

"Of course, to play against Brazil in Brazil will be a special game. It will be a great game for the world but we have two matches to go and we want the title.

"We can be the first European team to win a World Cup in South America. It won't be easy because a lot of European teams are out, but we are here and we are strong.

"The World Cup is not a competition where the team that plays the best football wins the tournament."