Germany stronger now than in 2010, claims Bierhoff

The former striker believes that Joachim Low's young charges have developed and improved over the past two years and are more than capable of challenging for Euro 2012 success
Oliver Bierhoff feels that Germany deserve to be ranked as one of the favourites for the 2012 European Championship as he believes the current squad is stronger than the one from two years ago.

Joachim Low's side finished third in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after their hopes of a fourth title were dashed by eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals.

Germany have now been placed in the 'Group of Death' for Euro 2012 alongside Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark but Bierhoff expects a side which he believes has matured wonderfully well over the past two years to shine this summer.

"Today we have a squad that is better and has more depth," the team manager told Kicker. "We are much further along than in 2010, because we have players like [Mesut] Ozil, [Sami] Khedira, and [Holger] Badstuber who have really established themselves with their current clubs and learned a lot.

"There are so many good German players that are coming to the national team having won major titles."

However, Bierhoff knows that victory is far from guaranteed given the quality of the opponents at the Euros.

"We all expect Spain and Netherlands to challenge and I think that this will be a tournament for the biggest football nations," he argued. "But I also think that Poland will play a role."

Germany kick off their campaign against Portugal on June 9 in Lviv.