Euro 2012 Bracket: Germany Will Ride Dominant Run to Championship
No one was more impressive in the group stage of Euro 2012 than Germany. With the talent on the team, they will not lose the rest of the tournament.
Coming into the European Championship, Group B easily had the toughest selection of teams. Portugal, Denmark and 2010 World Cup runner-up Holland all joined Germany in what was called the "group of death."
Simply surviving this group and reaching the quarterfinals would be an accomplishment for any team. Instead, Germany thrived against some of the best teams in the world, going undefeated and outscoring their opponents 5-2.
In the three matches, the Germans controlled the ball and the pace of the games. Mario Gomez totaled three goals, helped in part by the passing of Bastian Schweinsteiger. Forward Lukas Podolski has only one goal, but has been aggressive throughout and is likely not done scoring.
Germany almost has too much talent to guard on offense, while the defense has been functioning well as a team with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer keeping teams off the scoreboard.
After the grueling group stage, things actually get easier for the Germans in the quarterfinals. The next match is against Greece, a team that barely advanced past the group stage. After drawing Poland and losing to the Czech Republic, the Greeks were all but eliminated. However, they defeated Russia and got help from the Czech Republic to earn the second spot in Group A.
While Greece has solid history at this tournament, including winning in 2004, the current squad should be no match for Germany.
The semifinal awaits the winner of Italy and England, two teams with a rich history in the sport that have not been producing in the last few years. Each team is stacked with talented forwards, but neither has a defense that will be able to withstand the onslaught of the German offense.
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Realistically, the team with the best chance at defeating Germany is returning champion Spain. They have enough talent throughout the roster and experience on the big stage to win their third consecutive major championship.
Unfortunately, the fact that Spain already won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup seems to be working against them. Spain has seemed complacent in its first three games without the fire needed to win.
The level of play is too high for the Spanish players to be going through the motions, and it will catch up with them soon.
Germany seems to be on a mission. They have not won this tournament since 1996 and they are determined to win again.
If they continue their level of play they have shown so far, no one will beat them.
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