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German Captain Micahel Ballack and Bastian Schweinsteiger
© picture alliance / Pressefoto Ulmer
Euro 2008: Let the game begin

June 06, 2008

Euro 2008 is going to kick off on Saturday, 7 June. This time the prestigious tournament is being hosted by Switzerland and Austria - and Germany goes to the competition as strong contender. The Germans won the European Championship three times-in 1972, 1980 and 1996, finished as runners-up twice and have qualified for every European Championship tournament except one.

Germany were the first team to secure qualification for Euro 2008 and they made it from a relatively tough group of teams like the Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland and Slovakia. The Germans lost just once, drew three and scored an impressive 35 goals whilst letting in just 7 goals. Their highest score was against tiny San Marino, where they won by 13-0.

The Germans certainly have a great strike force at the moment. German coach, Joachim Löw has several options to choose from, with all of them capable of turning a game around. Löw would want to build his team around Captain Michael Ballack who is in exceptional form and team him with Torsten Frings, who would add stability and experience in the middle of the park. Tim Borrowski and Bastian Schweinsteiger, operating along the flanks, would provide the much needed width. All these players are assets for the German team, which is going to the tournament with confidence.

Euro Cup 2008, one of the world’s most prestigious soccer events, kicks off on Saturday, June 7th , with co-host Switzerland opposing Czech Republic in Basel and Portugal teaming up against Turkey in Geneva. Germany open their Group B campaign against Poland in the south Austrian city of Klagenfurt on Sunday, June 8, where they also play Croatia on June 12, before facing hosts Austria in Vienna on June 16. The tournament goes on throughout in June, and has its final match on Sunday, June29th.

The German Squad for Euro 2008

Goalkeepers:
Jens Lehmann (Arsenal), Robert Enke (Hanover 96), Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen

Defenders: Christoph Metzelder (Real Madrid), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Marcell Jansen (Bayern Munich), Clemens Fritz (Werder Bremen), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04)

Midfield: Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg SV), Tim Borowski (Werder Bremen), David Odonkor (Real Betis)

Strikers: Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Bayern Munich), Mario Gomez (VfB Stuttgart), Kevin Kuranyi (Schalke 04), Oliver Neuville (Borussia Moenchengladbach)



by Swati Sharma
© German Information Centre New Delhi
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