Euro 2020 team profile: Group F – Germany and France

GERMANY 

germany national football team

Head coach: Joachim Löw (German)

Captain: Manuel Neuer

Most capped player: Lothar Matthäus (150)

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Top scorer: Miroslav Klose (71)

FIFA ranking: 12

European Championship appearances: 13 (first in 1972)

Best run: Champions (1972, 1980, 1996)

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Group rivals: France, Portugal, and Hungary

Key players: Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos, İlkay Gündoğan, Timo Werner, Antonio Rudiger, Joshua Kimmich

Status: Germany is one of the most decorated footballing nations in the world with four World Cup titles, three European Championships, and a Confederations Cup in its illustrious trophy cabinet. 

Die Mannschaft have, however, struggled to find the form that put them up there as the most feared national team in the world, winning the World Cup in 2014. 

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They were knocked out by host nation, France, with whom they will also lock horns in the tournament’s group of death, in the semi-final of the 2016 European Championship. France would go on to lose the final, agonizingly, to Portugal in Paris, thanks to an Eder late goal. 

Germany would also go on a downward spiral starting from the 2018 World Cup in Russia when they were eliminated in the first round after an embarrassing 2-0 loss to South Korea on their way to being only the third team to win the World Cup twice on the bounce. 

On the continental scene, Die Mannschaft have not won the European Championship since they last won it in 1996. 

They will be looking to fancy their chances this year but, being depleted and probably lacking inspiration, they have fellow European heavyweights, France and Portugal to contend with, in group F.

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Verdict: Do not write the Machines off. They’re capable of winning the Euros and I tip them as one of the dark horses (along with Italy and England).

READ: Euro 2020 team profile: Group F – Portugal and Hungary

FRANCE

france national football team

Head coach: Didier Deschamps (French)

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Captain: Hugo Lloris

Most capped player: Lilian Thuram (142)

Top scorer: Thierry Henry (51)

FIFA ranking: 2

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European Championship appearances: 10 (first in 1960)

Best run: Champions (1984, 2000)

Group rivals: Germany, Portugal, Hungary

Key players: Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Olivier Giroud

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Status: Le Bleus are one of the most successful and important footballing nations in the world. 

Two-time winners of the FIFA World Cup and the Euros and two-time winners of the FIFA Confederation Cup, they’re in the group of death comprising current European champions, Portugal and 2014 World champions, Germany. 

What this also means is that group F contains current European champions and the current champions of the World along with a major football powerhouse. 

France will be looking to make up for the disappointment of losing the final of the Euros on home soil to Portugal, in 2016, this year, and what better way to show that they’re not joking than having one over Portugal in a fiery battle for who owns group F?

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Verdict: One of my overwhelming favorites to win the Euros this year.