Germany isn’t used to being a contender to win major tournaments, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when the three-time European champion kicks off her career at the 2020 European Championship next month.
In the last 3 editions of the European Championship, Germany – 4 times world champion – has reached at least the semi-finals, but this time she is not a candidate.
“I have yet to set a goal for the tournament,” said Germany coach Joachim Loew. “This time, we don’t belong to the favorites like France for example, but it’s not a burden.”
A disastrous 2018 World Cup first round exit was followed by a disappointing performance in the European Nations League, prompting Loew to restructure the squad in 2019.
Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, who led Germany to the 2014 World Cup title, were among those disqualified when Loew turned to the young players.
But a string of poor results, including a humiliating six-straight loss to Spain last November, the biggest ever in an official game, as well as breaks from the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 forced Loew to reverse his decision.
The German coach called on defender Hummels and striker Thomas Mueller for the European Championship squad, with Germany looking for defensive stability and more creativity in attack.
Love has the luxury of choosing in midfield with Toni Kroos, Ilkay Gundogan, Leon Goretska, Joshua Kimmisch and Kai Havertz.
But Germany has recovered in attack and has no natural attacker.
Mueller’s return came to add experience and flexibility to the attack, the 31-year-old forward having had an incredible season with Bayern Munich, scoring 11 goals and scoring 18 goals. p >
After a five-year absence, Monaco striker Kevin Folland returns to be an addition to the attacking line in light of Timo Werner’s struggles with Chelsea this season.
Loew hopes that the return of Mueller and Volland will dramatically improve the effectiveness of the attacks and, with it, the chances of the national team winning the title.
But the coach – who will leave his post at the end of the tournament after 15 years – knows that Germany must first qualify for the difficult Group VI, as they will open their matches against France in Munich on 15 June.
Germany then faces defending champions Portugal and concludes their matches against Hungary.
“In the tournament you have to focus on every game, every game, in the round of 16,” Loew said.
“We play against France and then against Portugal. So we want to qualify from the group stage. If you make a mistake thinking two steps and three ahead, we will face an obstacle. If we do let’s skip the group stage and move into the group stage. tournament momentum, maybe my team can do it all. “