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The Bayern Munich striker, who was dropped for his side's quarter-final win despite scoring three times in the group stage, has defended his team-mate's performances

Mario Gomez has dismissed suggestions that Bastian Schweinsteiger should be dropped for his performance in Germany's quarter-final win over Greece.

Joachim Low made several changes ahead of the knockout clash with Fernando Santos' side, including leaving Gomez on the bench despite him having scored on three occasions in the group stages.

The 27-year-old midfielder maintained his place in the starting line-up for the 4-2 win, but has received harsh criticism for his performance from observers.

But his Bayern Munich team-mate has hit out at "rubbish" calls for the five-time Bundesliga winner to be removed from the German XI.

Gomez told Sportbild: “[Schweinsteiger’s] had a very difficult season behind him; he had a lot of injuries.

“He isn't at 100 per cent yet, but now that three days [have] changed opinions on him is false.

“He was tired after the first game, he was world class after the second and he was tired again after the third.

“This discussion is really rubbish. [Germany coach Joachim Low] knows best what’s good for him and what he needs.”

Gomez also hailed Sami Khedira's leadership during die Mannschaft's run to the semi-finals of Euro 2012 and hopes the Real Madrid midfielder has proven his critics wrong.

He added: “He [Khedira] became a real leader. What I am really happy for him for because he always received a little criticism.

“There were discussions of him not being good enough footballing wise. That’s a discussion that never bothered him though.

“He has taken a great step forward at Madrid. He is a world class player."

The 26-year-old remained coy on whether he would be recalled for the semi-final clash with Italy on Thursday night, and praised his replacement Miroslav Klose for his role in the win over Greece.

“I did well in the first three games, now Miro played and he did well too,” the striker continued.

“We will see who will now play in the semi final.  I think it’s a great situation for the coach. He can now select whomever he wants and its going to work either way.”

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