Oliver Bierhoff feels that Germany deserve to be ranked as one of the favourites for the 2012 European Championship.
Joachim Loew’s side finished third in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after their hopes of a fourth title were dashed by eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals.
Germany have been placed in a difficult group for Euro 2012 alongside the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark but team manager Bierhoff believes Loew’s side have matured over the past two years and will feature prominently at the tournament.
“Today we have a squad that is better and has more depth,” Bierhoff told Kicker. “We are much further along than in 2010, because we have players like (Mesut) Oezil, (Sami) Khedira, and (Holger) Badstuber who have really established themselves with their current clubs and learned a lot.
“There are so many good German players that are coming to the national team having won major titles.”
However, Bierhoff knows that victory is far from guaranteed given the quality of the opponents at the Euros.
“We all expect Spain and Netherlands to challenge and I think that this will be a tournament for the biggest football nations,” he said. “But I also think that Poland will play a role.”
Germany kick off their campaign against Portugal on June 9 in Lviv.