As Euro 2012 kicks-off, I must admit, I have spent much time contemplating my prediction on which team will be crowned as champions of Europe. Never a fan of making predictions, I have finally caved. Many may believe that due to my current location, I would be rooting for tournament favorites, Spain, but truth be told, I firmly believe that Joachim Loew’s German squad, known for their precision and technical style, is set to run circles around everyone else, and be crowned as Champions.
A review of Germany’s qualifying campaign offers a glaring display as to the possibility within the squad selected by Joachim Loew. The first team to clinch their spot in the Euros, on September 2nd last year, besides Poland and Ukraine, their entire road to the Euros was flawless, without falter. As the only Central European country to retain a 100% record playing against the likes of Turkey, Belgium and Austria, the team managed to gain maximum points with no ties or losses. And with a grand total of 34 goals during qualifiers, the Germans surpassed current World Cup Champions, Spain.
Current champions, Spain, on the other hand will be left without star-striker and 2008 Golden Boot Winner, David Villa. Admittedly, placing all blame on the lack of one player may be unfair, but at the end of the day one could compare that to FC Barcelona sans Messi, or Real Madrid without Ronaldo. Facts are facts. Pedro will be replacing the famed #7 Villa spot, and Del Bosque has all the confidence in his selection. Undeniably, a rising star in with an amazing season at club level, could this pressure prove too much? Or will the trial and tribulations of Torres once again prove crucial to ‘El Roja’? Too many questions and doubts surround this squad, and I won’t rule them out of the final, but highly doubt their chances of lifting the coveted Cup yet again.
Racking up a staggering 30 points from just 10 games by scoring 34 goals in their qualifying campaign, starting with their first match against Belgium, the tone was set. With a talented squad, German precision is sure to dominate Euro 2012. If Loew keeps Neuer in the net, scoring against the Germans will prove a difficult task for any team, as the German goalkeeper played every minute of the qualifiers and remained in perfect form throughout. Admittedly their recent losses to both France and Switzerland raise some concerns, but perhaps it’s all a part of Loew’s strategy…
As for strikers, the German squad has three of the top strikers in Europe, Klose, Gomez and Podolski. And with talented midfielders, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Ozil, who had more assists that Xavi in World Cup 2010, getting the ball to the striking forces will be an effortless task. A squad with both veterans and youngsters, many will look to the experience of both Klose and Schweinsteiger to lead the youngsters, and thus far, it has proved successful.
Amidst all the glory must be some disappointment, and I believe that this will come out of the “Group of Death”. With my prediction seeing both Germany and Netherlands proceeding to the second round, Portugal (and Ronaldo’s bruised ego) will be left behind. With a lackluster defense, the Portuguese team may be the biggest letdown, aside the English team.
Many a fan and critic alike may agree that the Euro’s are one of the most difficult to predict due to the nature of this tournament, which has seen many upsets over the years. I may end up regretting these words, but I stand firmly behind my selection in the German squad. Perhaps a final against Netherlands, and if recent events (last Novembers match when Germany won 3-0) are any indication, Germany shall be victorious! Ein Prost!
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