Berti Vogts has leapt to the defence of beleaguered Germany manager Joachim Loew.
The Azerbaijan coach led his country in a fruitful eight-year period that lasted from 1990 to 1998, which included a Juergen Klinsmann-inspired Germany clinching the 1996 European Championship.
And Vogts, 65, has praised the courage of both his former charge and current manager Loew in their efforts to pioneer a new era for Germany, although admitting work still needs to be done.
“Even after he (Loew) walks on water, his critics always find a way to remind him he can’t swim,” the former Borussia Monchengladbach defender told German publication WAZ.
“Thanks to him, we have a generation of players that plays very elegantly.
“Everything both he and Klinsmann have done should be honoured. Discussions about his suitability for the Germany job should never have arisen. We were the best team of Euro 2012 until the last hurdle.
“We should have made it to the final, but we made things too easy for the Italians. Approaching the World Cup in Brazil, I’d put us at only about 80 percent readiness, but our players would already have learnt something from this competition.”
Bundesliga runners-up Bayern Munich defeated champions Borussia Dortmund on Sunday during the DFL-Supercup, and Vogts has tipped a close fight for this season’s title.
“Jupp Heynckes and Matthias Sammer at Bayern make for a great pairing, while Juergen Klopp is the father of Dortmund’s success, helped along by general manager (Hans-Joachim) Watzke’s presence,” he said.
“Both will battle it out for the championship, though it will no longer be so easy for Dortmund. Don’t expect it to be anymore the case when Dortmund beat Bayern three times in one season.”