x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Terrific trio are the key

Berti Vogts believes German have the world's finest midfield trio: Sami Khedira imposing his physical strength, Bastian Schweinsteiger his leadership and passing and Mesut Ozil his magic.

Eight members of the German squad are part of the Bayern Munich team that lost to Chelsea in the Champions League final.
Eight members of the German squad are part of the Bayern Munich team that lost to Chelsea in the Champions League final.

Bronze at the last two World Cups, a silver medal at the last European championship: Germany have turned their hunger for a first major trophy in the 21st century into a compelling logic.

They will bring the youngest squad - average age 25 - to Euro 2012, which they hope would be the antidote to the fatigue which may be detected in the other heavyweights, notably Spain, their nemesis at the last pair of finals competitions.

Berti Vogts, the last head coach to lead Germany to senior glory - at Euro 96 - believes German have the world's finest midfield trio: Sami Khedira imposing his physical strength, Bastian Schweinsteiger his leadership and passing and Mesut Ozil his magic.

Khedira and Ozil have just won the league in Spain, with Real Madrid; there are gold medals being brandished, too, from the Bundesliga and German Cup, by the smattering of Borussia Dortmund players in Joachim Loew's squad, and Miroslav Klose, the striker, is on a mission to add five further international goals - he has 63 - that would match Gerd Muller's tally.

The trouble is that many in Germany's team have just suffered a trauma. Bayern Munich supply eight squad members and, until they take to the field against Portugal on Saturday, it will not truly be known how much the effects of a loss in a shoot-out in the Champions League final against Chelsea, or the serial, and costly, late-season losses to Dortmund domestically, have shaken the spirit of the Bayern players.

Yet the German stereotype is not to stay brittle very long, and instinct says that they will not be.

sports@thenational.ae