Germany enter Euro 2020 hoping to reclaim its status as a global superpower after a disappointing 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Die Mannschaft landed in Russia as reigning champions and it looked that they’ll get past their group quite easily. But the Germans failed to showcase their authority on the pitch and were kicked out of the World Cup just after the group stage. But if Loew’s team manages to lift the trophy at Wembley they will once again be considered as one of the strongest teams in the world.
Joachim Loew, who will resign immediately after the Euros, has been reshaping his current team since the 2018 World Cup, dumping experienced players like Thomas Muller, Marco Reus, and Mats Hummels. Along with current players like Emre Can, Ilkay Gundogan, and Toni Kroos, young stars such as Leroy Sane, Joshua Kimmich, and Timo Werner have established themselves as influential figures in Germany’s roster.
WHO IS GERMANY’S MANAGER?
Joachim Loew has come a long way as Germany’s boss, guiding Die Mannschaft to two European Championship semi-finals, a runner-up finish in the 2008 Euros, two World Cup semi-finals, and winning the iconic 2014 World Cup is one of the highest points in his managerial career.
That is it! WE'VE DONE IT!!!! We are the #2014WorldCup winners! Amazing!!!! #GER 1-0 #ARG pic.twitter.com/FuaZninVAw
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) July 13, 2014
This, however, will be Loew’s final competition as Germany’s coach, as the 61-year-old had announced his intention to leave the managers post after the summer tournament.
“I take this step very consciously, full of pride and enormous gratitude, but at the same time continue to be very motivated when it comes to the upcoming European Championship tournament,” Loew said. “Proud because it is something very special and an honor for me to be involved in my country and because I have been able to work with the best footballers in the country for almost 17 years and support them in their development.
Even though Germany is in its recovery stage after a disappointing outing in Russia, their strategy will not alter in Euros. Germany will be encouraged to control the football, act swiftly near the goal, and utilize the speed of Havertz, Gnabry, and Werner to spread the opposition defence and make it difficult to defend against them.
Loew has always used a 4-3-3 formation, but he has also worked with a back-five. Antonio Rudiger and Niklas Sule are the most preferable center-back pairing among Loew’s available options. Germany have an abundance of fantastic shot-stoppers to select from. Manuel Neuer is the apparent No. 1, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Bernard Leno provide amazing variety to Joachim Loew.
GERMANY’S PROBABLE SQUAD
GOALKEEPERS – Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Bernd Leno, and Kevin Trapp
DEFENDERS– Antonio Rüdiger, Matthias Ginter, Emre Can, Niklas Sule, Jonathan Tah, Lukas Klostermann, Marcel Halstenberg, Robin Gosens, and Philipp Max
MIDFIELDERS– Toni Kroos, Joshua Kimmich, İlkay Gundogan, Leon Goretzka, Florian Neuhaus, Jonas Hofmann, Jamal Musiala, and Florian Wirtz.
ATTACKERS– Timo Werner, Serge Gnabry, Amin Younes, Kai Havertz, and Leroy Sane
The major story from Germany’s current roster is that Jamal Musiala, who recently agreed to swear loyalty to Die Mannschaft has earned his first call-up.
The Bayern Munich superstar is one of several players who have represented Germany at the national level, including captain Manuel Neuer and Leroy Sané, who was astonishingly not a part of Germany’s 2018 World Cup Squad. Despite his excellent form for Bayern Munich over the past 2 seasons, Thomas Muller couldn’t make it to the final squad.
Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich) & Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen) receive first call-up to the German national team – full squad. https://t.co/pop1kgqp2j
— Get German Football News (@GGFN_) March 19, 2021
Neuer was considered a spent force after the Germans were knocked out of the 2018 World Cup. But since then, the 34-year-old has regained his consistency and re-established himself as one of the legends of the game and a top-notch goal-keeper.
He has been the perfect person in between the posts for both club and country. Since the beginning of this campaign, Neuer has kept 23 clean sheets in the Bundesliga itself, and he has rescued his team on several instances helping Bayern win every competition they have participated in. He’ll be a crucial figure for Loew this tournament as he is one of the few players in the squad who know what it takes to win a trophy at the biggest stage.
Manuel Neuer was arguably Man of the Match today. Another masterclass on the highest level. Easily the greatest goalkeeper of his generation and arguably the best goalkeeper of all time. pic.twitter.com/cSTzYF8g3e
— Bavarian Tweets (@BavarianTweets) August 23, 2020
Joshua Kimmich, once considered a successor to Philipp Lahm, has made a proper switch to central midfield and is now probably the strongest No.6 in the world. Kimmich, who still has loads of venom in his defensive work, is absolute quality on the pitch, breaking defenses and keeping Bayern functioning with pinpoint passes and ice-cold patience.
This year, the 26-year-old has 14 assists from 31 games in the Bundesliga and Europe, and his proclivity for screamers from long-range allows him to be a hidden goal threat for Germany.
📸 Kimmich & Goretzka. #FCBAtleti pic.twitter.com/YQXuP8w8Fb
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 21, 2020
Serge Gnabry has been doing an excellent task of leaving his unsuccessful Arsenal experiment behind him. Gnabry is much more than a mere pace seller; his inventive ball control can confuse defenders giving the likes of Werner and Havertz more freedom in front of the goal, and his aggressive approach ensures he will constantly aim to get behind defenders and put the ball in the back of the net.
Gnabry’s performance for Germany has been incredible so far, with 15 goals in 20 appearances — he is considered a goal-scoring machine. His knack for scoring goals will make him extremely dangerous and he could be a great asset for the Germans.
Loew has players like Werner, Havertz, and Sane who could create havoc in front of goal. The duo of Kimmich and Goretzka in the middle of the park could add flair to Germany’s game and provide them with the stability they are looking for.
A young player who could attract everyone’s attention is Jamal Musiala. He plays for Bayern Munich in Germany and is considered a great talent.
Musiala, who had previously represented England’s youth teams, announced his desire to compete for Die Mannschaft. Joachim Loew himself recruited Musiala, who considers Musiala a long-term heir to Thomas Müller.
Musiala has netted six goals in Bundesliga for Bayern Munich this season. Though he hasn’t been given too much playing time he has managed to score a goal in the Champions League as well.
His technical ability on the ball and efficiency makes him head and shoulders above others. Jamal Musiala, like Thomas Müller, can handle a variety of roles with confidence and adapts his role according to the requirements of the squad and the coach.
This kid has a big future 🌟
🔴⚪ #Musiala #FCDFCB 0-2 pic.twitter.com/oZIQiAi481
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) October 15, 2020
For such a young player, his positional play and dribbling statistics are indeed remarkable. Musiala averages 4.6 dribble completions per game, demonstrating his talent and power. He also delivers 42 passes per game with an incredible rate of 87.4 percent.
He could give the perfect support to veterans Gundogan and Kroos if he is on the pitch. He could be the perfect player coming off the bench for Germany and Joachim Loew.
Die Mannschaft played the Euros for the first time in 1972. Since then they have participated in every Euros that have taken place. They have been a part of the Euros for a record 12 times. They’ll play the competition for the 13th time this season.
They have won the championship thrice and Spain is the only other team to have accomplished this record. They managed to lift the trophy in 1972, 1980, and 1996.
EURO '96 highlights: Relive Germany’s semi-final shoot-out win against England at Wembley – https://t.co/SI7fsTNM9o pic.twitter.com/O6mtc97TE6
— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) March 27, 2016
They managed to reach the semi-finals in their last outing but Loew would be looking to improve his performance this time out. They’ll surely want to put their World Cup horrors to bed and would want to lift the trophy on 12th July.
Germany will also feature in their 50th finals match when they go up against France at Allianz Arena.
Germany are a really strong contender to win Euro 2020. However, one of the most natable roadblocks in Germany’s search for glory this year is the absurdly difficult group they are a part of.
2018 World Cup Winners France, UEFA Nations League winners Portugal, and a powerful Hungary side boasting of some great talents are all in Group F. Germany are currently the frontrunner to advance to the knockout stages, but as Loew will know from 2018, the label can be a liability.
FootTheBall predicts Germany will finish runners-up in Euro 2020 losing to France in the final.