The 32-year-old midfielder reflected on a sad night in Dortmund when die Mannschaft were sunk by the Azzurri, but insisted that the current side can go further
Ahead of Thursday's Euro 2012 semi-final between the two nations, the Dortmund captain looked back to the last-four meeting six years ago in which Italy ran out 2-0 winners after extra time, ending Germany's quest for World Cup glory on home soil.
"The night in Dortmund was one of the most bitter sporting moments in my career," Kehl told Der Westen.
"The emotion, the excitement, the enthusiasm throughout the country. Suddenly, on this tearful night, everything was gone."
Yet Kehl did concede that the current Azzurri play in a more pleasant manner and will have pulled together as a group and gathered their nerve, citing Andrea Pirlo's cool spot-kick against England in Italy's quarter-final shoot-out victory as an example.
"They can control the ball and play well to the front. They are hardened, as the penalty by [Andrea] Pirlo shows," he continued.
"The trouble before the tournament and winning a penalty shoot-out, these things knit you together and make you more confident. But Italy would have preferred a different opponent to Germany, I am sure."
And the 32-year-old remained confident that die Mannschaft can earn a positive result and continue their quest for Euro glory.
"We too have another team with very different players. We have extremely good individuals. And in the tournament the performances have got better," he went on.
"You want to be champions? Then you have to beat every opponent. It is an unpleasant but feasible task for our team."