UEFA president Michel Platini has said Germany are the best team in Europe at the moment and one of the favourites to win this summer’s UEFA EURO 2012, ahead of their friendly with France on Wednesday.
“Germany currently has the best team in Europe, they are very young and very creative,” the Frenchman told German daily Die Welt on Sunday. “They didn’t lose any of their European Championship qualification matches. They are the big favourites to win the championships alongside Spain.”
Platini, who led France to the 1984 European title on home soil, cast a critical eye over the current French team, coached by Laurent Blanc. “We have two or three really good players like (Real Madrid’s) Karim Benzema and (Bayern Munich’s) Franck Ribery, but the rest are so-so,” admitted the 56-year-old.
Having made more than 70 appearances for France during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Platini said matches against Germany gave him several restless nights during his career playing for Les Bleus. “I have had nightmares because of Germany,” he said. “We lost to them on penalties in the semi-finals of the 1982 World Cup and again in 1986. They were dramatic games.”
UEFA EURO 2012 kicks off on 8 June with Germany having been drawn in Group B alongside Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark while France face co-hosts the Ukraine, Sweden and England in Group D.