Euro 2012 teams

Team Profile: Germany

A look back at the key points in the German team's history in the Euros

Dominic Raynor

Miroslav Klose scored nine of Germany's 34 goals in qualifying.

Overall record at finals: Played 61, Won 29, Drawn 17, Lost 15

Best performance: Champions in 1972, 1980 and 1996

Most appearances at finals: Jurgen Klinsmann (1988, 1992, 1996) and Thomas Hassler (1992, 1996, 2000) - 13

Most goals at finals: Jurgen Klinsmann (1988, 1992, 1996) - 5

European Championship high: Winning its first Euros as a unified nation in 1996 at the "home of football,"  Wembley Stadium, England.

European Championship low: Germany went into Euro 2000 as defending champion but failed to win a single game, drawing 1-1 with Romania and losing 1-0 to old foes England before being pummeled 3-0 by Portugal. It was also a sad end to the career of Lothar Matthaus, who won the last of his record 150 caps as Germany went home early.

European Championship legend: Franz Beckenbauer may have skippered the side to victory in 1972 and a runner-up spot in 1976, but it is Gerd Muller who is remembered as the man who brought the trophy to West Germany for the very first time. The squat, awkward-looking Bayern Munich striker scored both goals in the 2-1 semifinal win against Belgium and two more in the 3-0 defeat of Soviet Union. He is still the country's record goalscorer with 68 in 62 games.

The story so far: After an inauspicious start, with West Germany either not entering or failing to qualify for the first three tournaments, Die Nationalelf won the trophy in its very first finals appearance in 1972 and has been there or thereabouts ever since. Franz Beckenbauer's West Germany relinquished the title after losing 5-3 on penalties to Czechoslovakia four years later but reclaimed the crown in 1980, when two goals from Horst Hrubesch secured a 2-1 win against Belgium in Rome.

At Euro '92, a unified Germany was on the end of a shock defeat as Denmark, who replaced Yugoslavia at the finals at very late notice, won the final 2-0. However, with Berti Vogts in charge they went one better in 1996 and Germany lifted the cup for a third time thanks to Oliver Bierhoff's Golden Goal against Czech Republic at Wembley. Two fallow European Championships followed, but at Euro 2008, the Germans once again reached the final only to be beaten, across the border in Austria, by a single goal from Spain's Fernando Torres. They are the European Championship's most successful team.

Qualification: Joachim Low's side qualified for the tournament with a perfect record, finishing 13 points ahead of second-place Turkey, which it beat 3-0 at home and 3-1 away, in Group A. Low was able to experiment with younger players such as Mario Gotze while veteran Miroslav Klose added nine goals to continue his phenomenal international scoring record. The Germans scored three or more goals in eight of their ten qualifiers and are one of the favorites to win Euro 2012.

Qualifying record: P10, W10, D0, L0, F34, A7, Pts 30

Most appearances: Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller (10)

Top goalscorer: Miroslav Klose (9)


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