After reunification Germany initially struggled to match the exploits of their former western section, but that changed at EURO '96. Having moved into the semi-finals, they came from behind to edge out hosts England on penalties then defeated the Czech Republic with a golden goal. Playing in a libero role first filled by Franz Beckenbauer, former East German international Matthias Sammer scored the quarter-final winner against Croatia and was inspirational throughout as his nation won the title for the third time.
Scoring against Croatia...
There was a pass from Markus Babbel, then a header and I put it into the far corner. Before that we got a penalty that had put us 1-0 up. Then we made a mistake and Davor Šuker equalised. Overall we also showed that we had the necessary calmness; we knew we were physically strong.
What I remember from the final is the penalty given to the Czechs because I did not touch him, but Patrik Berger scored. However, it was great for Oliver Bierhoff that he scored those two goals since he did not play that much and everybody said it is not so easy for Oliver. He was a typical centre-forward: not the best player technically, but he was an incredibly nice guy and he deserved it so much. We all gained from it, but he deserved it.
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