Karl-Heinz Rummenigge - winner West Germany 1980
"Like today, our team in 1980 was a young and ambitious. We had lot of talent, plenty of drive and had no fear. I see those same qualities in the present side.
The last World Cup and Euro 2008 proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are on the right road and even though we have been drawn in an incredibly tough first-phase group, I’m confident we can at last win another title. It’s been a long time since winning in England at Euro ‘96, as the expectation in Germany is that we will win one of these major tournaments every few years. Maybe the time to end the bad run has come.
For me, the large numbers of excellent young players we have at the moment is the key. We have freshness and enthusiasm in abundance and in coach Jogi Low we have the ideal man to put it all together. He always impresses me with his commitment to attacking football, tactical good sense and man-management.
Our most important player? Undoubtedly Bastian Schweinsteiger. He may have had a lot of injury troubles this season, but we need him to be at his best in central midfield. If everyone performs as we know they can, there is no reason why Germany cannot be winners in Kiev on July 1."
Emmanuel Petit - winner France 2000
"Our World Cup-winning team of 1998 is thought of with special affection and with good reason, yet the French side which came out on top in the European Championships two years later was clearly superior.
We had Patrick Vieira to stiffen the midfield, while Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet were no longer kids as they had become proven stars at the top of their game. Looking back, we were a really solid unit. We controlled and dominated and had the sort of mental strength you can only dream of. It is that quality which this current French team need to discover.
As I expected Laurent Blanc is doing a fantastic job as national coach. He is a natural leader of men and you can see his signature on the team. They are well organised and hard to break down but also look to play good, constructive football.
France will be semi-finalists this time, so long as three factors come right. That we don’t make any stupid defensive mistakes, we find a way for Franck Ribery to play for us like he does for Bayern and Karim Benzema continues his brilliant form of this season. He’s turning into the complete striker."
Brian Laudrup - winner Denmark 1992
"I know exactly what the Danish boys are going through at the moment. Similarly to us in 1992, Denmark are being written off before a ball has been kicked in the tournament, but we all know that dismissing a team as for having no chance is a dangerous plan.
Of course, I’m not saying that we are contenders for the European title this time, but we do have a lot going for us. There’s absolutely no pressure on us and like in 1992, we’ve a really close-knit team cleverly coached by Morten Olsen. The prospect of meeting world powers such as Germany, Holland and Portugal would have many running for cover, but not these boys. They will not be in awe and believe anything can happen over 90 minutes. It’s not impossible that we play more than three games at Euro 2012."
Marco van Basten - winner Holland 1988
"Euro '88 did not look like being my tournament. Johnny Bosman was given a chance to start ahead of me in the first game. This was fair because he had done well in the qualifying games and why change a winning team? I believed I would watch much of the tournament from the bench, but I got my chance against England, scored a hat-trick and that started everything for me.
My goal against the Soviet Union in the Final is a cherished memory, but I have to say there was a lot of luck involved. I was tired, did not want to take the ball down and took the option of a shot. It went in; what a feeling.
For this Holland team? Thanks to our great offensive power, we have to have a chance of going all the way at Euro 2012. In Robin van Persie, Klass-Jan Huntelaar, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder, we have some wonderful finishers and in a tournament, making the most of your scoring opportunities is often the difference between success and failure.
In such a tough group, there will be no room for error, but given the strong mentality of our team, I doubt very much that they will be nervous at the thought of having to get past Germany, Portugal and Denmark. They are winners and very much play as such, without hesitations and second thoughts. This is the only way you can win a tournament of this quality."
Dino Zoff - winner Italy 1968
"The 1968 European championship was where it all started for me as an international player. I didn’t have many caps at the time, so to end up as a champion on home soil was perfect. It was such an important moment for Italy as a football nation. Just two years previously we’d been knocked out of the World Cup by North Korea and the mood was not optimistic, but it was a time for everyone in Italy to celebrate.
Every team has to learn to live with pressure and I’m happy to say that the new-look side Cesare Prandelli is putting together show a great deal of inner belief and sense of purpose. It’s good news for us that midfield strategist is coming off his best-ever season. A lot will be riding on the form up front of Balotelli and Cassano. I think they can do well, despite all the problems in the build-up to the tournament."
Marcos Senna - winner Spain 2008
"Everyone knows it’s very difficult to retain a trophy, especially a European championship, but if any team can do, then it has to be Spain.
The amount of talent we have is unbelievable and I don’t see any less hunger in the players. They are as committed and hungry as ever. Can the players of Real Madrid and Barcelona still work together after their fierce rivalry in the league. I don’t doubt it for a moment. The bonds are close in our national team and that’s why we’ve moved from international under-achievers to a real force.
It needed our success four years ago to convince everyone that Spain could be winners. We had come so close, so often. Always coming up short and wondering why it could not be our turn. Well, there is no doubt that this is Spain’s time now and this is why I predict we will beat Germany in a repeat of the Euro 2008 final to retain the trophy this time."© ESPN