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UEFA EURO 2020 contenders in focus: Germany

Germany come into focus as we look at the history and pedigree of all 24 UEFA EURO 2020 contenders.

Germany last lifted the trophy in 1996
Germany last lifted the trophy in 1996 Getty Images

EURO pedigree

Previous final tournaments: 12
EURO best: winners (1972, 1980, 1996)

Only Spain can match Germany's record of three EURO wins (the first two as West Germany, the third following reunification). Die Mannschaft have also played (49) and won (26) more finals matches than any other nation.

UEFA.tv: Germany's 1996 win
Every goal on Germany's road to EURO 2020
Every goal on Germany's road to EURO 2020


Key players

Manuel Neuer (96 caps)
The 34-year-old goalkeeper reached top form again in 2020, and was instrumental as Bayern won the UEFA Champions League. Neuer is Germany's captain and occasionally acts as their unofficial sweeper as well.

Joshua Kimmich (50 caps, 3 goals)
Reliability, work rate, versatility, leadership: the list of important qualities Kimmich brings to the table seems to increase every year. The 26-year-old will likely be fielded as a central midfielder rather than a right-back in the summer.

Watch Bierhoff's EURO '96 winner for Germany
Watch Bierhoff's EURO '96 winner for Germany

Memorable EURO goals

• Oliver Bierhoff's winner in the 1996 final against the Czech Republic may not make many highlights reels, but the first golden goal in UEFA European Championship history brought Germany their only post-reunification title.

• Germany were under huge pressure in their final 2008 group stage match against Austria when Michael Ballack found the relief valve: clocked at 121km/h, his free-kick remains one of the best set-piece goals in competition history.

• Time was running out for Germany in the first group stage match of the 1992 finals when Thomas Hässler's curling free-kick found the top-right corner against the CIS, salvaging a last-minute draw.

Watch Germany's winning EURO '96 semi-final penalty
Watch Germany's winning EURO '96 semi-final penalty

Memorable moments

• The EURO '96 semi-final against England was the definition of a nail-biter: both sides came close to getting golden goal winners in extra time, but Germany silenced Wembley Stadium in the penalty shoot-out.

• Uli Hoeness's miss during the 1976 final shoot-out remains a dark moment in in the nation's EURO record. Shortly after he fired the ball into the night sky in Belgrade, Antonín Panenka stepped to score an unforgettable spot kick for Czechoslovakia to give the massive underdogs the title.

UEFA.tv: West Germany's giants of 1972


• The 1972 EURO squad is considered Germany's best of all time. The quarter-final first leg against England (West Germany's first ever win at Wembley) and the final against the Soviet Union stand out as two of the national team's most memorable performances.

Highlights: Watch German 1972 masterclass
Highlights: Watch German 1972 masterclass

Stats

Most final tournament appearances
18: Bastian Schweinsteiger
14: Philipp Lahm
13: Mario Gomez, Jürgen Klinsmann, Thomas Hässler, Miroslav Klose

Most final tournament goals
5: Mario Gomez, Jürgen Klinsmann
4: Gerd Müller, Dieter Müller, Rudi Völler, Lukas Podolski

Killer stat: Germany have qualified for the last 26 major national team final tournaments: 13 FIFA World Cups and 13 EUROs since they missed out on the 1968 EURO finals.

Watch Ballack's rocket free-kick for Germany at EURO 2008
Watch Ballack's rocket free-kick for Germany at EURO 2008

Did you know?

• PSV Eindhoven defender Philipp Max, who made his debut in November 2020, is the fifth Germany player to follow in his father's footsteps by playing for the national team (his father Martin won his sole cap in 2002).

• Of the team that won the 2014 World Cup, only three players are expected to be included in Joachim Löw's squad for this summer: Manuel Neuer, Matthias Ginter and Toni Kroos.

• Since taking part in their first EURO final tournament in 1972, Germany have not missed out on the final for more than two tournaments in a row. To maintain this record, they must reach the decider this summer.

UEFA.tv: Great Germany EURO goals