Germany are a better team with
more depth and maturity than they had at the 2010 World Cup
where they finished third, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said on
With the Germans eager to ease some of the pressure as one
of the tournament favourites with victory in their opening Euro
2012 Group B game against Portugal on Saturday, Neuer said a
good start would put them on track for the title.
"We are better than in 2010 because we can fill each
position twice and that was not the case at the World Cup," said
Neuer, who played his first tournament for Germany in South
Africa in 2010.
"We are now more mature in our automatic processes and we
know each other much better."
Germany fielded their youngest World Cup squad in 76 years
at the 2010 finals, with an average age well below 24, and coach
Joachim Low has continued his policy of introducing young
talent to the international stage.
Neuer said while Germany were a relatively untested
tournament team in 2010, they were now among the title
favourites after winning all 10 of their qualifiers.
"Yes we want to win the title," said the 26-year-old. "But
we want to take it step by step. We want to play a successful
game at the start to take off a bit of the pressure that we have
put on ourselves.
"The start is very important, just like our victory over
Australia in our first game at the World Cup. That was important
for us. This time getting a positive result at the start means
the pressure is reduced a bit."
Germany are hoping to end a 16-year title drought.
For Neuer, a successful Euro 2012 would ease the bitter
memories of Bayern Munich's Champions League final defeat on
penalties to Chelsea last month.
"For the Bayern players this is a chance [for a title] after
not too bad a season," said Neuer, whose club finished
runners-up in the league and German Cup to Borussia Dortmund.
"We want to grab this chance so the tournament comes at just
the right time."
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Andy Carroll pulls out of England's friendly internationals against Ireland and Brazil
Manchester City and the New York Yankees have formed a new Major League Soccer team
Real Madrid president under scrutiny after latest coaching project ends in disarray
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010