13 June - Ukraine (8pm GMT, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille)
World Champions Germany go into the Euros as favorites, but will the burden of expectation be too much for them? Mohamed Nassar takes a closer look at their title credentials.
After a lost decade from 1996 to 2006, Germany has since managed to consistently field teams that are rooted in experience yet constantly evolving at the same time. Needless to say, managerial continuity has played a major part in ensuring that the team’s philosophy has been consistent, however, a more critical factor has been the German football association’s revamp of the national league which has seen the league dethrone the Serie A as the continent’s third strongest competition and feed the Mannschaft an almost constant stream of young talent.
Coach: Joachim Low has sat on the German bench for over 12 years now, first as Jurgen Klinsmann’s assistant from 2004 moving on to become the team’s manager.
Preferred XI: Neuer; Can, Hummels, Boateng, Hector; Khedira, Kroos; Müller, Özil, Reus; Götze
A highly cohesive starting eleven that combines both youth and experience, and although Germany has lost Philip Lahm, Miroslav Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger to retirement and age, the replacements are more than capable to maintain Germany’s favourites tag.
Look out for: Low’s Germany have become renowned for their explosive, quick transitioning and passing game. The German ability to spread play wide through Mueller and Reus or penetrate through the middle using Ozil and Kroos make them one of the world’s most difficult teams to defend against.
Did you know?
… Ukraine P 5 W 3 D 2 L 0 F 10 A 5
… Poland P 12 W 8 D 3 L 1 F 22 A 9
… Northern Ireland P 7 W 4 D 3 L 0 F 17 A 5
Nickname: Die Mannschaft, Nationalelf, DFB-Elf
Calcio fans might remember… Lothar Matthaus (Inter 1988-1992)
Top Division: Bundesliga
FIFA World Ranking: 1
International honours: World Cup (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014), European Championship (1972, 1980, 1996)
Most capped player: Lothar Matthaus (150)
Leading international scorer: Miroslav Klose (71)
Germany at the European Championships:
1960 – Did not enter
1964 – Did not enter
1968 - Did not qualify
1972 - Champions [West Germany]
1976 – Runners up
1980 - Champions [West Germany]
1984 – Group stage exit
1988 – Semi-finals
1992 – Runners up
1996 – Champions
2000 – Group stage exit
2004 – Group stage exit
2008 – Runners up
2012 – Semi-finals
How they got to Euro 2016: Germany qualified as winners of qualification Group D, collecting 22 points from their 10 games.