Germany eye Euro title as Klose hails 'best' team

03 September 2011 05:00

Veteran striker Miroslav Klose insists the current Germany team is the best he has played in after they became the first team to qualify for Euro 2012 when they hammered Austria 6-2.

The 33-year-old netted the opening goal while Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil scored twice, with Lukas Podolski, Andre Schuerrle and Mario Goetze also scoring.

The victory gave Germany an unassailable 11-point lead at the top of Group A after eight wins in eight games.

Klose, now with Serie A side Lazio after Bayern Munich released him, is closing in on Gerd Mueller's national scoring record as his 62nd goal in 111 internationals took him to within six of 'Das Bomber's benchmark.

But the veteran marksman says his continued success at international level and that of the team is down to coach Joachim Loew.

"In the ten years since I first became involved, so much has changed," said Klose, who made his debut in 2001.

"Four or five years ago, we wouldn't have a decent goalkeeper, then we'd lack a few midfielders, then forwards.

"Now we have everything, with so much strength in depth.

"This is the best German team I have played in, that much is for sure.

"The coach's role in this is huge.

"He has developed this team and this way of playing through training."

German captain Philipp Lahm said on their day his side can beat anyone.

"Everyone was strong when it came to attacking, we scored six goals after all," said the Bayern Munich defender.

"We have won every point possible so far, we have had a perfect qualification and we have maintained our level of play since the World Cup and developed it further.

"We have so much creativity that we can beat anyone."

Having taken charge after the 2006 World Cup having been assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann, Loew has already guided Germany to the final of Euro 2008 and third at last year's World Cup.

"For a few years now, we have been amongst the best teams in the world and you can see we have a very, very good team," said Loew.

"We have developed our football even further since 2010 and we are on a good path, but there are other teams in Europe who are amongst the favourites for Euro 2012.

"Spain and Holland nearly always win their matches, Portugal have a good team and you can't underestimate teams like England and France.

"But we have already shown we are amongst the world's best."

Despite all their confidence, Germany still have a few weaknesses to remove before the Euro 2012 finals next June such as at centreback where Mats Hummels or Holger Badstuber were exposed several times.

Source: AFP