Mertesacker: We have to start overpowering Spain, not just challenge them

The experienced Nationalelf defender believes that his side needs to work harder on the pitch if they are to catch up with and overtake the world and European champions
Germany and Arsenal centre-back Per Mertesacker has stated that his team should aim to overpower Spain, not just challenge them.

At a press conference in Berlin ahead of their qualification clash against Sweden, the 28-year-old talked about learning from clubs like Borussia Dortmund when taking on the giants of international football.

"It should be clear that you can always learn little things from successful teams. We still have to learn a lot of things, to get to a point where we will be able to not just challenge teams like Spain, but overpower them," he told reporters.

"We still miss a few things, especially our work rate can be improved. Dortmund showed that they have their qualities in this area, that they can pressure their opponents in order to give them a problem."

Regarding their upcoming match against Sweden, the defender is aware that Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be a big challenge to deal with.

"He is unbelievably strong individually, he's good in the air, always driven towards the ball, is technically strong and uses good, surprising moves and actions. Playing against him will be a special challenge."

Despite this difficult task, the former Werder Bremen player is confident of his side being able to get a good result against the Blue-Yellows.

"We have always had good results against Sweden, because everybody [in the Germany team] gave his full potential. And that is necessary against Sweden."

Germany's World Cup qualifying match against Sweden is set to begin at 20.45CET.