Defeat to Germany had 'nothing to do with the tactical changes', says Kroos

The 22-year-old says that his side's alterations were necessary as they needed to deactivate Andrea Pirlo and believes they did not have an influence on the result
Toni Kroos has voiced his belief that Germany turned in a good performance against Italy in the Euro 2012 semi-finals and that the tactical alterations that were made for the fixture did not have a negative influence on their performance.

Joachim Low has come under criticism for introducing a slight strategic change for the match, which ended in a 2-1 victory for the Azzurri, with Kroos was deployed ahead of Marco Reus or Thomas Muller.

However, the 22-year-old explained that such a change was necessary in order to limit the action of Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo.

"I did not necessarily have to play on the right wing," Kroos told Kicker. "Italy's biggest threat was coming from the centre.

"We did well by showing our game and the defeat has nothing to do with the tactical changes. We only did it to try to strengthen the centre of the midfield.

"If the opponents have a player like Pirlo in their ranks, you cannot be arrogant and say you do not care about him."

It was the only match at the Euros which Kroos started for Germany, and the Bayern Munich star admitted that he had expected to play a more influential role in the team.

"My expectations were completely different," he added. "But I accepted it, I trained well and was always ready."

Die Mannschaft will now turn their attention to the World Cup 2014 qualifiers, where they will tackle Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Austria, Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan.

"Our goal now is to qualify for the World Cup," Kroos aded. "We want to have our chance there."