By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Drawn in the group of death prior to the start of the tournament, Germany saw off offensive challenges from Premier League top scorer Robin van Persie and the impressive Cristiano Ronaldo to top Group B with maximum points. Joachim Low's squad now stand on the brink of a place in the Euro 2012 final, with Italy as semi-final opponents.
While observers consider Azzuri striking duo Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli to be less deadly than some of the other attackers the Germans have held off, Hummels disagreed.
"There is no doubt that they are top-class strikers, [they are] up in the same league as the likes of [Robin] van Persie, Nani, or [Cristiano] Ronaldo," he said to dfb.de
"We'll be prepared, approaching the game with the same concentration as always."
The central defender admitted that Cesare Prandelli's men have done far better than he envisioned, and he was particularly impressed by the performance they put on against defending champions Spain.
"We'll be meeting an opponent who's absolutely on a par with us in terms of everything. In fact, I think they were superior to Spain in their group match and just got better and better," Hummels shared.
"I admit they did not figure in my personal top three, but now I know I was wrong."
Hummels identified the midfield as their opponent's biggest strength, and he revealed that Germany will be paying close attention to Juventus' Andrea Pirlo.
"They strike a very good balance between offence and defence, and in midfielders [Riccardo] Montolivo, [Andrea] Pirlo, and [Daniele] De Rossi they have superb technicians who also track back and defend. Pirlo, especially, will be a key player to watch," he said.