Former European champions Germany
could be forgiven for having already set their sights on their
first major title since 1996 after completing a perfect Euro
2012 qualification with 10 wins in 10 games.
Germany beat Belgium 3-1 on Tuesday to finish off a flawless
campaign in which they qualified top of Group A and deservedly
staked a claim for next year's title in Poland and Ukraine.
More than seven out of 10 Germans believe their team will
win Euro 2012, according to a poll by German broadcaster ZDF on
Coach Joachim Low and his players, however, are quick to
put a damper on the fans' expectations, saying several tough
teams are vying for the title.
"What bothers me is that in the past few weeks there is only
talk about a duel between Germany and Spain," Low, who led a
young German squad to a third-place finish at last year's World
Cup, told reporters.
Spain, the European champions and World Cup winners, beat
Germany en route to both titles, in 2008 and 2010 respectively.
"It won't necessarily come to such a duel. There are other
nations who are every good. It will not come down only to
Germany versus Spain."
The Germans, three-times European champions and three-times
World Cup winners who have not won a major trophy since the 1996
European Championships, will travel to their Polish headquarters
next year with a young squad that impressed at the World Cup in
Several more, even younger players, including Borussia
Dortmund's Mario Gotze, 19, and 20-year-old Andre Schuerrle,
have firmly established themselves as part of the team in recent
On Tuesday, captain Philipp Lahm, at 27, was the oldest
German player on the pitch.
"This is the easiest nomination I have ever had to make,"
said Low, adding that he could have filled each position twice.
"In the past I had to think a lot; there were some problems here
or there but I don't have that this time."
The players also advised caution.
"The Dutch and the Spaniards also won all their games so
there should be three European champions," Thomas Muller told
reporters when asked whether Germany's title chances had
increased after advancing in such a dominant fashion.
"We first need to play the tournament and then see what
comes out of it. We are well prepared and happy to be going
there," said Muller.
England striker puts pen to paper on permanent deal
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
"Get on the weights," says expert
Estudiantes hang on for victory in bizarre season-defining match
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010