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Professional Germany leave no stone unturned

Published: Saturday 12 May 2012, 14.45CET
Perfect in the group stage, an improving Germany are now casting their eye towards a semi-final with Poland. Nico Brandenburger told UEFA.com that the reason is more judgement than luck.
by Dan Ross
from Ljubljana
Professional Germany leave no stone unturned
Germany midfielder Nico Brandenburger speaks to UEFA.com. ©Sportsfile
Published: Saturday 12 May 2012, 14.45CET

Professional Germany leave no stone unturned

Perfect in the group stage, an improving Germany are now casting their eye towards a semi-final with Poland. Nico Brandenburger told UEFA.com that the reason is more judgement than luck.

"When you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail" says the adage. Being around Germany in their hotel in Ljubljana, there is a strong sense that very little is left to chance. Even at this age level, everything is done with the utmost professionalism – from mealtimes, where their own chef provides the players with optimum nutrition; to interviews, where the players speak confidently, rarely need prompting and seem well-prepared for careers facing the media.

Tellingly, the most detailed part of this fortnight in Slovenia is Germany's match preparation sessions, which, according to Nico Brandenburger, leave no stone unturned.

"We get a presentation from one of the coaches, including videos," says the central midfielder. "They give us information about our opponents – their strengths, their weaknesses, how they are likely to play. We are also shown their specific key players and how they behave on the pitch.

"There are two different briefings," Brandenburger adds. "First the team briefing, where the group is sat together. Then there are the individual presentations, where certain players in our team are told to look out for specific dangers."

Such a meticulous approach to detail is no doubt responsible for Germany's improvement in this tournament. Stefan Böger's charges have gone from strength to strength in their three games so far, their perfect group campaign culminating in a 3-0 win against France.

"Now we have won all three matches and haven't conceded a goal, so that is definitely a boost," said Brandenburger, who has been an ever-present in the German engine room thus far.

"I have witnessed a real improvement in the team from the first match to now. We were quite nervous against Georgia and made some mistakes, and since then we have settled and increased in confidence," he said.

The win against Les Bleus extended their famous unbeaten run, but the Germany No6 shrugged off suggestions it was a distraction. "We are aware of it and it gives us a lift, but during the match we put it out of our minds," he insisted.

"We just focus on playing our own game and hopefully winning," added Brandenburger. "If we put in our best performance we can win any match. France are a great team, and we beat them well, so I think we now have the confidence that we can beat anybody."

Last updated: 12/05/12 19.42CET

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