Schweinsteiger: Germany can win Euro 2012

The Bayern Munich midfielder is ready to put club disappointment behind him and claim success with his country, believing it to be a real possibility if they play to their potential
Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is confident his country can emerge victorious at Euro 2012.

It has been 16 years since die Mannschaft won a major tournament when Oliver Bierhoff secured victory against the Czech Republic at Euro '96.

The 27-year-old is determined to put his Champions League heartbreak behind him and believes Joachim Low's side can end the wait and triumph in Kiev on July 1.

"How do you define pressure? We're all living privileged lives," Schweinsteiger told team.dfe.db. "People in need, people fighting for sheer survival, they're under real pressure.

"For me, this tournament is something of a trial, a huge challenge to show what we're capable of, to go to the max. If we manage to play to our full potential on a consistent basis, we can lift the trophy, it's as simple as that. But that's not what I would call pressure."
Greek players come out fighting

Although Germany topped Group B, winning all three games, their performances have been described as only efficient and not as impressive as the ones produced by the team at the 2010 World Cup.

Schweinsteiger is not completely convinced by that opinion, noting that the team's ability to garner early leads in South Africa made matches much easier.

"Don't forget that the group matches in South Africa were anything but easy, with the game against Ghana being the first make-or-break 'final'," he pointed out.

"Also, the matches against England and Argentina were not at all straightforward, it's just that we managed to take the lead early, and that made things much easier.

"We had a good team then, and we've got a good team now. The difference is that in South Africa, some 10 players were experiencing their first major tournament.

"These guys are back again, but they've changed and are far better versed in the do's and don't's of tournament football, knowing what to do to be successful."

Greece are the next team that stands in Germany's way and Schweinsteiger is respectful of the threat they will pose.

"It'll be ever so hard to play against an opponent who's likely to sit deep and play on the counter," Schweinsteiger explained.

"We have great respect for the Greeks, especially as many 'experts' were saying they didn't stand a chance of progressing from their group. We mustn't underestimate them, and we hope that fans in Germany realise that we're anything but through yet!"

If they do get past the Euro 2004 winners, a possible meeting with current champions Spain in the final is something the five-time Bundesliga winner would relish.

"I'm glad for Spain to have progressed to the next round, simply because they're a top team," Schweinsteiger insisted.

"Sure, they're a major rival to be up against, and had they been eliminated, a huge obstacle would be out of the way. But I want to play against, and possibly beat, the best possible opponents.

"I like doing it the hard way. Having said that, I wouldn't refuse the trophy if Spain were out of the running!"