Cape Town, Jul 3: In a bid to put an end to the off-field war-of-words between German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and Argentina coach Diego Maradona, German coach Joachim Loew said that his boys respected their Argentine opponents but insisted "we have freedom of speech".
The midfielder had earlier accused the Argentine players of being disrespectful towards their opponents and referees after recalling their last World Cup encounter in which Germany defeated Argentina in penalty shootout after which chaotic scenes followed.
This invited a response from Maradona who questioned the midfielder if he was nervous.
"Bastian was expressing his opinion and we have freedom of speech," Loew said on Schweinsteiger's comments.
Several other players have also slammed Argentina ahead of the quart-final tie.
Speaking on the 2006 match, Leow said on Friday, Jul 2, "Until the penalties, the match was hard but not unfair or brutal. The problems came after the game and that's why we'll try to win before the penalties tomorrow."
Dubbing the opponents as "physical to the limit" and expecting "greatest possible resistance", the coach said, "We can't make mistakes, because they are ice-cold in using every opportunity they get. We'll have to defend with discipline and we all have to take part in defending, as well as in attacking."