Germany warms up for Euro 2004

26th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

26 May 2004 , WINDEN - Germany started their final Euro 2004 countdown on Tuesday in a Black Forest retreat, with reconciliation the top priority in the first of three warm-up games with Malta on Thursday. "The team has to deliver after the ominous match in Romania. The 5-1 loss did us harm. We must overcome this. One must feel that we are hot for Euro," said coach Rudi Voeller. Last month an injury-plagued Germany was humiliated 5-1 in Bucharest, which sent shockwaves through the nation and even further d

26 May 2004

WINDEN - Germany started their final Euro 2004 countdown on Tuesday in a Black Forest retreat, with reconciliation the top priority in the first of three warm-up games with Malta on Thursday.

"The team has to deliver after the ominous match in Romania. The 5-1 loss did us harm. We must overcome this. One must feel that we are hot for Euro," said coach Rudi Voeller.

Last month an injury-plagued Germany was humiliated 5-1 in Bucharest, which sent shockwaves through the nation and even further dented the mood ahead of the 12 June-4 July finals.

The game against Malta on Thursday in Freiburg will be followed by games with Switzerland on 2 June and Hungary on 6 June.

Germany fly to Portugal on 9 June, six days ahead of their tough 15 June opener against the Netherlands. Their other first round opponents are Latvia and the Czech Republic.

Voeller gathered 20 of his 22-player squad on Tuesday, with only Werder Bremen's Fabian Ernst and Frank Baumann missing because of club duty in Saturday's cup final against Alemania Aachen.

In addition, Christian Rahn is still injured and Thomas Brdaric is also not in full health.

But that does not hurt Voeller too much as he plans the real Euro gear-up in the six days between the Malta and Switzerland games.

"We will train in such a way that the players will be in top shape in Portugal. I know that the players won't be happy, but it is important," said Voeller.

Voeller said that he will take special care of his most important players such as captain Oliver Kahn and Michael Ballack, who were far from their best with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this season.

"It is important that key players like Ballack go into the tournament in top form - not only physically, but mentally as well," said Voeller.

Voeller may experiment a little in the warm-up games, but practically already has his starting line-up for the Euro opener ready.

"I have a certain lineup in my head," he said.

Kahn is the undisputed number 1 between the posts despite some blunders this year. Veterans Christian Woerns and Jens Nowotny form the central defence with newcomers Arne Friedrich and Philipp Lahm as right and left backs, respectively.

The midfield is likely to be the same as at the 2002 World Cup, formed by Ballack, Bernd Schneider, Dietmar Hamann and Torsten Frings. Up front, German World Cup top scorer Miroslav Klose teams up with big-event novice Kevin Kuranyi.

Germany's match will get most attention, but there are also four games involving non-Euro qualifiers on the night.

Ireland host Romania in Dublin, Norway and Wales meet in Oslo, Scotland are in Tallinn for a match against Estonia, and Georgia take on Israel in Tbilisi.

DPA

Subject: German news

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