UEFA EURO 2012 Team Preview – Germany

Population 81.7 million Area 357,021km2 Capital Berlin Currency Euro Official Language German

FOOTBALL FACTFILE

Football Asocciation Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB) Official Site http://www.dfb.de Year of formation 1900 Euro Ranking 4 World Ranking 3 National Stadium N/A Well-known club sides Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen Leading goalscorers Gerd Müller (68), Miroslav Klose (63), Jürgen Klinsmann & Rudi Völler (47) Most capped players Lothar Matthäus (150), Miroslav Klose (113+), Jürgen Klinsmann (108) European Championship finals attended 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 Best European Championship performance Winners 1972, 1980, 1996 Playing Record in European Championship P126 W81 D29 L16 Odds of winning UEFA EURO 2012 3/1

JOURNEY TO POLAND/UKRAINE

In a display of ruthless efficiency that has become synonymous with the German football team, the three-time European Champions glided through their qualification period, wining all 10 games with relative ease. Turkey and Belgium were identified as potential pitfalls, but Germany cruised past them in style, scoring 34 goals and conceding only seven.

A formidable outfit in their last World Cup outing, bested only by eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals, Joachim Löw has now amassed an even stronger side. Question marks over defensive pairing have been answered and, from an attacking perspective, veteran Miroslav Klose looks as potent as ever, offering a stunning return of nine goals in six qualifying games he played. A fersome midfield comprises talents such as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Özi, not to mention youngsters Toni Kroos and the prodigious Mario Götze, whom Löw is undoubtedly eager to unleash.

Although in a very difficult group alongside the Netherlands, Denmark and Portugal, the opposition will be of little consequence to a German side that boasts an incomparable history in the competition. It was 1996 when they last emerged victorious in the European Championship and 16 years without a trophy is , by German reckoning, for too long. Along with Spain they’ll be many bookies’ tip to take silverware home this summer.

HOW THEY GOT THERE

03/09/2010 – Group A – Belgium 0-1 Germany
07/09/2010 – Group A – Germany 6-1 Azerbaijan
08/10/2010 – Group A – Germany 3-0 Turkey
12/10/2010 – Group A – Kazakhstan 0-3 Germany
26/03/2011 – Group A – Germany 4-0 Kazakhstan
03/06/2011 – Group A – Austria 1-2 Germany
07/06/2011 – Group A – Azebaijan 1-3 Germany
02/09/2011 – Group A – Germany 6-2 Austria
07/10/2011 – Group A – Turkey 1-3 Germany
11/10/2011 – Group A – Germany 3-1 Belgium

HOME AND AWAY KITS

 

GROUP FIXTURES – GROUP B

Saturday, 09/06 – Germany v Portugal (Lviv, 19:45)
Wednesday, 13/06 – Netherlands v Germany (Kharkiv, 19:45)
Sunday, 17/06 – Denmark v Germany (Lviv, 19:45)

FINAL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München), Tim Wiese (SV Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96).

Defenders: Holger Badstuber (FC Bayern München), Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München), Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal FC).

Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF), Marco Reus (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), André Schürrle (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München), Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund), İlkay Gündoğan (Borussia Dortmund).

Forwards: Miroslav Klose (S.S. Lazio), Mario Gomez (FC Bayern München), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln).

THE CAPTAIN – PHILIPP LAHM

Don’t be fooled by this German’s youthful visage, beneath Lahm’s baby-faced exterior lies true grit and priceless experience. Considered one of the best defenders in the world, the Bayern full-back has represented Germany in four international tournaments to date, winning a runners-up medal in his last European outing. This year he will be hoping to go one better.

THE KEEPER – MANUEL NEUER

Establishing himself as uncontested first choice in the German goal, Neuer played every second of his country’s 10 UEFA EURO 2012 qualification games, gaining wide critical acclaim in the process. Still living in the shadows of long-serving goalkeeping great, Oliver Kahn, Poland/Ukraine is the perfect oppotunity for Neuer to etch his name into German history books.

STAR MAN – MESUT OZIL

Grabbing the world’s attention with a Golden Ball nomination in South Africa 2010, Mesut Özil is heralded as one of the up-and-coming prodigies on the global footballing stage. Described by his peers as ‘the German Messi’, Özil technical brilliance and fantastic range of passing has seen him collate a remarkable number of season assists for a hugely grateful Real Madrid forward line. He is fleet of foot and of mind, creating opportunities with ruthless passing and remarkable frequency. When he gets the ball in space in UEFA EURO 2012, opposition fans’ hearts will begin to flutter.

THE MANAGER – JOACHIN LOW

Catching the football world’s attention as Jürgen Klinsmann suavely dressed assistant at 2006 FIFA World Cup, in 2010 Joachim Löw oversaw a tournament in which Germany displayed a very watchable brand of exciting, attacking football. It propelled them to the semi-finals and, although they lose to Spain, Löw has perseved with the same style of play since stepping into the hotset. He has dripped veterans such as Michael Ballack and, to his credit, progressed youngsters such as Toni Kroos and Mario Götze.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTION

Winners – The Germans have one of the most balanced sides among all the teams taking part in the European Championship this year. They are drawn in the Group of Death alongside Netherlands, Denmark and Portugal, but with quality they possess they should go on to win the group. If they do so then a potential semi-final clash against Spain is in the waiting, and that would be the match of the tournament.

The Germans have been knocked out of the major tournaments by La Furia Roja on the previous two occasions (finals in UEFA EURO 2008 and semi-finals in 2010 FIFA World Cup), but expect Die Mannschaft to be third-time lucky and get the better of the reigning European and World champions.

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