Monday, December 11, 2017

It´s hard to pick a favourite for Euro 2016, insists Augenthaler

Klaus Augenthaler believes it is tough to pick a favourite for Euro 2016 – but admits Germany’s adaptability always makes them competitive at a major tournament.

While he never lifted the Henri Delaunay Trophy in his international career, Augenthaler was part of the West Germany squad that triumphed at the 1990 World Cup.

Joachim Low’s Germany were also crowned world champions in Brazil two years ago. Just like their counterparts 24 years earlier, they recorded a 1-0 win over Argentina in the final. 

Low’s squad are fancied to go far at Euro 2016 too, although Augenthaler acknowledges France should be considered strong contenders on home soil.

“It is hard to say which nation is the favourite,” the former Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg manager told Omnisport.

“Germany is always one of them at the European Championship. The home nation, France, is of course one of the favourites.

“I don’t know why Belgium is one of them, because I can’t imagine them winning.

“For me, as a neutral visitor, it’s just interesting. I don’t care which country is the favourite in the end.”

Germany had the odd hiccup in qualifying for Euro 2016, but still ended up topping Group D, finishing a point ahead of Poland.

Augenthaler is impressed with the way the current national team can adapt to any opponent they face, something West Germany also did at the 1986 World Cup on their route to the final.

“At the [2014] World Cup in Brazil we had a hard start, but increased from match to match. That’s what distinguished the German team,” he said.

“In Mexico [at the 1986 World Cup], it was the same with our team. Italy [at the 1990 World Cup] was a bit different, as we started well with a super match against Yugoslavia.

“But, in the end, that’s what distinguishes the mentality of the German national team. They’re able to change tactics in the tournament – depending to how they’re starting – and accordingly increase their levels.”

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