Frank Lampard has urged English football to embrace a more German approach ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
England and Germany are among the fiercest rivals in the international game but Lampard is full of admiration for the way the latter goes about their business.
“I have huge respect for them,” the England star said.
“I grew up being frustrated by them as an England fan. You know how tough they are in certain situations.”
Lampard, who played alongside former Germany talisman Michael Ballack for four years at Chelsea, added: “He was one of those players who you could probably take the wrong way in the beginning, but he was so determined, confident and wanted to win.
“The German teams I have played against all seem to have that individually. That’s why they will be such a force at the Euros as well this summer.
“They are very technically intelligent. Maybe it’s the set-up and the system they have with the young kids there.
“We talk about England and what we need to do – the Spanish have shown it, the French have shown it and the Germans with their under-21s.”
Bayern are the flagship German club and Lampard was under no illusions about the task facing Chelsea tomorrow night, branding it “a huge challenge”.
He added: “They have great players up front – I’ve watched them a few times.
“(Mario) Gomez’s goal record is amazing and his all-round game and his finishing is fantastic. And the wingers we all know about anyway.
“In (Toni) Kroos and (Bastian) Schweinsteiger, they have two fantastic midfield players.
“I can’t speak highly enough of them actually. Kroos has come on and really impressed me. And then (Thomas) Muller played behind the front man.
“It’s going to be a battleground because they are very strong in there.”
Bayern have been weakened by three suspensions for tomorrow night’s clash but Chelsea have been affected by four, including to centre-backs John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic.
But Lampard was confident the fit-again Gary Cahill and David Luiz would fill the void.
He said: “John is obviously the captain and a top defender but we’re fortunate that in Gary and David looking like they are going to be fit, we have good cover.
“A lot of teams losing their centre-halves would not be so confident but I’m pretty confident in them.
“And then Ashley Cole – say no more, you know what you get from him. And whoever we play at right-back, Jose Bosingwa or Paulo Ferreira.
“We have to be on our game to stop them but I have confidence in the players to do it.”
We are covering every minute of the final with Miguel Delaney on Saturday in our live blog from Munich.