With seven of the starting eleven players forming part of the Bayern Munich side that saw their domestic and European campaigns come crashing down, Die Mannschaft will be looking to make amends and put a terrible season behind them. The most successful nation in European history has grown from strength to strength under coach Joachim Low, and that was demonstrated in their invincible qualifying campaign where they notched ten wins on the trot to qualify for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine with a perfect record.
The previous edition of the UEFA European Championship saw Germany make the finals, only to be beaten by Spain. Two years later, they finished third at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa – the tournament where they made their mark after dishing out a 4-1 hammering of Argentina. Despite their success in recent years, the hunger for trophies has grown to an extent where the entire nation expects Low’s men to bring the coveted prize home this summer.
There’s no doubting the vast array of talents at the disposal of the coach, with the youth academies in Germany producing exceptional starlets over the past few years. Captained by the Bayern Munich skipper, Philipp Lahm, Die Mannschaft enter Euro 2012 as one of the favourites – and with good reason.
With one of the world’s best goalkeeper’s in Manuel Neuer behind a rock-solid defence that includes Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng and the skipper Lahm, the back-line looks in good shape, with Sami Khedira doing the cleaning up just ahead of them. Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil possesses the vision and left-foot that can slice open any defence, making him a valuable asset to the team. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s experience in midfield and the technical abilities of Lucas Podolski and Thomas Muller on either wing work with the creative forces to set up their talisman, Mario Gomez.
Stellar names like Toni Kroos, Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose will have to settle for a place on the bench, showing the depth of quality that flows through the squad. With such big names coming together, it would be a major upset if the Germans didn’t go the distance this summer and hand Low his first piece of silverware in the international arena.