Arsène Wenger believes that a winter break is a catalyst for the success of German teams in Europe.

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are hot favourites to progress to the Champions League final after securing big wins against Barcelona and Real Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final ties this week.

A spell of 33 days without a game between mid-December and mid-January has galvanised both those sides and Wenger feels that the period of rest helps the national team too.

The only thing you can say is Germany take advantage of a longer winter break with their club and national teams [more] than anybody else

Arsène Wenger

“The only thing you can say is Germany take advantage of a longer winter break with their club and national teams [more] than anybody else,” he said.

“That goes when they are at the big tournaments with the national team and when you play against them in March and April, especially April.

“When you are an English club or a Spanish club, you have a handicap - that is for sure.

“What people forget with a long winter break is during that break the international players get real rest as well, which is not the case in the summer.

“In the summer your players only sometimes get two or three weeks off because they play in the big tournaments, you have to get them back and they do start the new season without being completely rested.

“If you have a big winter break, because the national teams don't play during that break, the international players who are the most exposed to severe physical stress have a real rest as well in winter, and that is a massive advantage.”

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Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Nik Brumsack 26 Apr 2013