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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 June 2006, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Klinsmann unfazed by Ballack view
Jurgen Klinsmann and Michael Ballack
Klinsmann and Ballack at training
Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann has played down reports of a rift with his captain Michael Ballack.

The Chelsea midfielder was critical of an overly attacking approach in the 2-2 draw with Japan and the team stability.

Ballack said: "The weaknesses of the past two years have not been solved. We play with too much risk."

But after the 3-0 win over Colombia, Klinsmann countered: "What criticism? It's absolutely a good thing when players express their opinions."

Ballack scored the opening goal in the victory against Colombia, with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Tim Borowski also getting on the scoresheet, and Klinsmann was impressed.

"Our problem has not been defence per se but the transition back to defence from up front and from midfield," he said.

"We wanted to be more compact in midfield and we were here."

It was a huge improvement on the performance against Japan, when Germany came back from two goals down.

Ballack gave a scathing assessment of Germany's display and he said: "We move the ball fast, maybe too fast, and we lose possession quickly.

"We always have to think defence. Every player has to have this all the time on his mind and not wait for the instructions from the coach."

And he also questioned the team selection.

"It's important for us players to have the certainty, to know who is playing next to me," he added.

"It's good to know who is playing and how we are playing. That gives us players a secure feeling.

"The coach knows my opinion. We agree on most points but sometimes we have different opinions."

Germany 2-2 Japan
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31 May 06 |  Squad selectors
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25 May 06 |  Schedule
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