• Germany's news in English

Bierhoff says 2008 German squad can match Euro 1996 win

AFP · 10 Jun 2008, 08:11

Published: 10 Jun 2008 08:11 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

When Bierhoff scored the golden goal which won the Euro 1996 final, giving Germany their third European title, few Germans imagined it would be another 12 years before their side would again win another Euro championship game.

But having returned home early - and winless - from both Euro 2000 and 2004, the German public was restless for victory before Sunday's Group B win over Poland in Klagenfurt, but their team delivered an impressive 2-0 victory.

"I am happy we have broken the jinx and all the preparation work has paid off," said a relieved Bierhoff on Monday.

"We can be happy we had a good start to the tournament, it will give us self-confidence and security, but we haven't reached our goal, there are two very important games left to play. In 1996, Germany also won our first game 2-0 (against the Czech Republic), I hope it's a good omen, we can't rely on that, but it gives us a bit of re-assurance."

On Sunday, around 26 million Germans tuned into watch Bayern Munich forward Lukas Podolski score both goals against Poland to kick-start their Euro campaign. With games to follow against Croatia on Thursday and Austria next Monday, Bierhoff says the current side have the same hunger to win.

Germany are chasing their fourth European Championship title having also won in 1972 and 1980, as the then West Germany, and Bierhoff said the squad has the same attitude as the squad enjoyed 12 years ago.

"I think in 1996, we were a very results-orientated group, very focused, very determined," remembered Bierhoff. "We had a lot of experienced players, some had enjoyed success with their clubs, some had won the 1990 World Cup."

He said the same thing can be said now. The players were focused and although some have achieved individual success, there is a real hunger to claim the trophy, just like there was in 1996.

"There was a tremendous sense of confidence before the Poland game, sometimes players can get jittery and it can either help or hinder their performance. But there was none of that before, everyone was calm and focused."

Should Germany reach the final in Vienna on June 29, the majority of their games will be played in Austria, yet their base is here in south Switzerland, which demands a one-hour flight for each group game.

Story continues below…

Bierhoff defended the decision to base the team at a hotel in near-by picturesque Ascona even though Germany will have travelled a reported 4000 kilometres if they win the final.

"We had to weigh up between keeping the team in the bustle of a city compared to the tranquil peace and quiet here," said Bierhoff. "We wanted to give the players the location and the setting to relax, they will be working hard, so we wanted to make sure they could also unwind away from distractions. It was a case of weighing up the pros and cons, we decided travelling was the lesser of two evils."

But centre-back Per Mertesacker summed up the situation from the players perspective: "The location is great here, we have so many opportunities to relax and if we win the final, where the team were based will not be an issue."

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd