Germany defender Holger Badstuber has been pleased with the success of his country's defensive unit at Euro 2012 so far having been identified as a potential weak area of the team before the tournament.
Badstuber has combined with Mats Hummels to allow only two goals in die Mannschaft's three group matches and the Bayern Munich centre-back hopes he can continue to silence his critics.
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"Before the tournament everybody said our defence is our weak point, but I think we've done a good job so far," Badstuber told reporters. "Of course we can do better still, but we can be content, we've performed well against Portugal and the Netherlands.
"Everybody in our defence is doing a good job. It starts at the front and ends at the backline. Then it's easier for us to get into a tournament.
"We all saw that the matches were close, so we have to be secure at the back. Our potential in attack is huge, but the first task is to defend well, because we know that in attack we can always make it happen.
"We're [Badstuber and Hummels] both guys who know the game, who know football and how to defend. So our relationship on the pitch is good."
The duo play for different clubs, with Hummels representing Borussia Dortmund, but Badstuber revealed that they have featured on the same team before.
"We played together one year, in the Under 15-squad, he [Hummels] as striker and me in midfield, so there wasn't much practice," Badstuber joked. "But actually this is the first time we have played together like this [in defence]."
Badstuber was keen to deny, however, that Per Mertesacker's chances with the national team had been dealt a serious blow by the emergence of the Bundesliga pair.
"He had a bad injury and could not play before [the European Championship], but he's got the experience and is an important figure in the team," Badstuber insisted. "It's definitely not the end of an era."
He also maintained that there was a good harmony in the squad despite the friendships between players contracted to the same clubs.
"Of course there are bonds between club-players, but there are good relationships between all of us, and also the newer players," Badstuber declared.
The 23-year-old was not interested in discussing the political implications of Germany's quarter-final tie against Greece, but is anticipating a tough test when they face Fernando Santos' team.
"We know about the special importance [of the game against Greece] but for us only the match is important, others can talk about the political issues," Badstuber said.
"They [Greece] are strong collectively, as a team. Everybody is working like mad, helping each other.
"That's not going to be easy, they’re a defensive-minded team, they will fight. It's important not to underestimate them and focus. They beat Russia, so we know what we'll be up against."
Badstuber also denied having any knowledge of reports linking former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola to Bayern when the Spaniard has completed his year away from the game next summer, but could not help but be intrigued by the rumours.
"I haven't heard about that, interesting," he replied. "He is a great coach, just like [Jupp] Heynckes, but what will come is to be decided by our bosses."