After their surprise third place in the 2006 World Cup, expectations are high, especially as Germany enjoyed the luck of the draw with all the other big names in the opposite half of the draw. Germany have won at least one major tournament a decade since the 1970s.
Germany were the first side to secure qualification for the finals with a 0-0 draw in the Republic of Ireland in October 2007, although a couple of poor results after that took some of the gloss off a generally impressive campaign and they ended up second behind the Czech Republic. On their way to qualification, they broke the record for the biggest European Championship win, beating San Marino 13-0 away in September 2006, with Lukas Podolski scoring four goals — only the second German player to achieve that feat after Gerd Müller put four past Albania in 1967. They met the Czechs after they had secured qualification, but left the pitch to catcalls after losing 3-0 in Munich.
For this tournament, Joachim Löw is expected to play his favoured 4-4-2 formation, and Miroslav Klose’s impressive international record is sure to earn him a place in the front line. The battle to partner Klose is between Kevin Kuranyi, 2007 German Player of the Year Mario Gómez and Lukas Podolski. Podolski gave Löw, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, plenty to think about by performing well when deployed on the left side of midfield.
Germany lead the way with three tournament victories to date. In 1972 and 1980 they won the competition as West Germany, but their 1996 success came after reunification. France are the only other country to have won the competition more than once following successes in 1984 and 2000. One surprising fact is that Germany have not won a match in the final tournament of a European Championship since winning the competition in 1996. Since then, Germany have played six matches, drawing three and losing three, with three goals scored and eight conceded.
Germany Euro 2008 Squad
Head coach: Joachim Löw
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