Germans need good Euro 2004

2nd June 2004, Comments 0 comments

2 June 2004 , WINDEN - Germany need to perform well at the European Championships to raise the mood among football fans in the country ahead of the 2006 World Cup, national team coach Rudi Voeller said. Voeller told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa, in an interview there was always a danger of going out of the European Championships at an early stage. But with Germany hosting the 2006 World Cup the way the team plays at Euro 2004 in Portugal starting 12 June will be important, he said. "We have to play a good

2 June 2004

WINDEN - Germany need to perform well at the European Championships to raise the mood among football fans in the country ahead of the 2006 World Cup, national team coach Rudi Voeller said.

Voeller told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa, in an interview there was always a danger of going out of the European Championships at an early stage.

But with Germany hosting the 2006 World Cup the way the team plays at Euro 2004 in Portugal starting 12 June will be important, he said.

"We have to play a good European Championships so that there is a certain amount of optimism among the public over the next two years that we will also play well at the World Cup in Germany," he said.

"I am convinced we can. We already have a relatively lot of young players who will progress by 2006."

But Euro 2004 could not be regarded as a stepping stone to the World Cup because the tournament was far too important. Two years in sport are "light years", he said.

Germany have been drawn in a tough group with the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Latvia, but Voeller said it was no different at Euro 2000 when the Germans failed to progress from a group including England, Portugal and Romania in Belgium and the Netherlands.

"That was not the main problem. The main problem was the way we went out," he said.

That led to the dismissal of Erich Ribbeck and the appointment of 44-year-old Voeller who on Saturday in a friendly against Hungary celebrates his 50th game in charge of Germany.

Voeller, whose contract runs until the end of the 2006 World Cup, said he had no worries his job could be on the line if the Germans perform poorly in Portugal.

"My target is the 2006 World Cup," he said.

 

 DPA

Subject: German news

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