Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is confident his country can emerge victorious at Euro 2012.
It has been 16 years since Germany won a major tournament, when Oliver Bierhoff secured victory against the Czech Republic in the final of Euro 1996.
Schweinsteiger, 27, is determined to put his Champions League heartbreak behind him and believes Joachim Loew’s side can end the wait and triumph in Kiev on July 1.
“How do you define pressure? We’re all living privileged lives,” Schweinsteiger told team.dfe.db.
“People in need, people fighting for sheer survival, they’re under real pressure.
“For me, this tournament is something of a trial, a huge challenge to show what we’re capable of, to go to the max.
“If we manage to play to our full potential on a consistent basis, we can lift the trophy, it’s as simple as that. But that’s not what I would call pressure.”
Although Germany topped Group B, winning all three games, their performances have been described as only efficient and not as impressive as the ones produced by the team at the 2010 World Cup.
Schweinsteiger is not completely convinced by that opinion, noting that the team’s ability to garner early leads in South Africa made matches much easier.
“Don’t forget that the group matches in South Africa were anything but easy, with the game against Ghana being the first make-or-break ‘final’,” he said.
“Also, the matches against England and Argentina were not at all straightforward, it’s just that we managed to take the lead early, and that made things much easier.
“We had a good team then, and we’ve got a good team now. The difference is that in South Africa, some 10 players were experiencing their first major tournament.
“These guys are back again, but they’ve changed and are far better versed in the dos and don’ts of tournament football, knowing what to do to be successful.”
Greece are the next team that stands in Germany’s way and Schweinsteiger is respectful of the threat they will pose.
“It’ll be ever so hard to play against an opponent who’s likely to sit deep and play on the counter,” Schweinsteiger said.
“We have great respect for the Greeks, especially as many experts were saying they didn’t stand a chance of progressing from their group.
“We mustn’t underestimate them, and we hope that fans in Germany realise that we’re anything but through yet.”
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