Euro 2012 focus on Germany: So near yet so far for the Germans in recent years, will that change at Euro 2012?
We now look at one of the favourites for Euro 2012, Germany. Cast in the so-called ‘group of death’, the Germans will still be relatively confident that they can once again go deep into a major international football tournament.
Joachim Löw’s team go into the competition mooted as strong contenders, and rightly so. Their efficient style of play always ensures that, come the end of the tournament, they’re still in contention.
The side seems shaken, but not stirred.The large Bayern Munich contingent is ostensibly reeling from the Champions League defeat in which many of them looked utterly broken.
Experienced members of the squad such as Per Mertesacker have had injury-plagued seasons whilst there seems to be (as with most sides at Euro 2012) questions over the ability of the German back four.
Nonetheless, Germany still boasts a formidable selection up front; Podolski, Gomez, Ozil and Muller will cause big problems for every opponent and the wise inclusion of Klose means that Germany can call on a proven marksman whenever they need one. As usual there’s the midfield motor of Schweinsteiger who will power his way around the pitch and Philip Lahm will provide much needed stability at the back.
In goal, the Germans seem to have found a real gem in Manuel Neuer who has notched up a fine season between the sticks for Bayern Munich; the whole world glimpsed his dependability and confidence as he converted a penalty in the Champions League Final.
All in all, the side are in fairly good nick, which they have shown through some good friendly performances in the build up to the tournament.
Star Player: Bastian Schweinsteiger
The stalwart of the German side is widely regarded as one of the top central midfielders in the whole world, combining fierce tenacity with a crafty guile that unlocks defences. Other than Xavi and Iniesta, there are few players who have superior qualities and it’s also worth noting the immense long distance shooting ability that this star possesses.
Rising star: Mario Gotze
The young trickster has whipped up clear interest from all parts of Europe thanks to some excellent displays recently for Borussia Dortmund; at the tender age of 20 he still has bags of potential to demonstrate.
With a possible big money move on the cards, Gotze will be determined to show his class on the big stage in order to attract the very best offers.
Manager: Joachim Löw
Löw has proved a great success in his spell at the helm of the German national side. After being promoted from the assistant manager’s position, he has guided Germany to two strong finishes in major competitions. Obviously, he will be looking to go one better this time round and he should feel confident about the chances of his side.
The Germans should brush aside tough competition from their group and will look to progress, however, I cannot help but predict a Spain vs. Holland final.