15.10.2007: Beckenbauer hails Germany as best in Europe

German Football
By German Football October 16, 2007 02:36

15.10.2007: Beckenbauer hails Germany as best in Europe

Germany have the best team in Europe and have improved considerably since the World Cup while Italy, France and England have fallen behind, former coach and captain Franz Beckenbauer said on Monday.

In an interview on the German Football Federation’s website, Beckenbauer said coach Joachim Loew had done a great job since taking over from Juergen Klinsmann 15 months ago and said that they were among the favourites to win Euro 2008.

Unbeaten in their Euro 2008 qualifiers, Germany were the first team to earn a spot in the finals with a 0-0 draw against Ireland on Saturday.

‘Germany are the best and most consistent team in Europe right now,’ said the 62-year-old Beckenbauer ahead of Wednesday’s match up against the Czech Republic in Munich. In the past, he was often among the team’s most vocal critics, having previously called for Klinsmann’s resignation prior to the 2006 World Cup.

‘They’ve kept a high level since the World Cup and have even improved upon it. Other top teams like Italy, France or England have let up and are having a lot of problems even qualifying,’ he said, adding he believed they would nevertheless qualify.

Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup as West Germany captain in 1974 and coach in 1990, said he hoped Loew would extend his two-year contract soon.

Germany have won 12 of 15 matches under Loew with two draws and one defeat – in a friendly against Denmark.

‘The team have taken a big step forward and they’re ready to win the championship,’ said Beckenbauer. ‘It’d be good if he stays longer. At the moment there isn’t anyone better than him with his system and his assistants.’

German Football
By German Football October 16, 2007 02:36
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