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The Euro '96-winning, former coach has defended the exploits of the current national manager, as well as predicting an exciting Bundesliga race this season

Berti Vogts has leaped forward in defence of beleaguered Germany manager Joachim Low, after the latter was criticised following his failure to guide the vaunted Die Mannschaft beyond the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

The current Azerbaijan national team coach led his country in a fruitful eight-year period that lasted from 1990 to 1998, which included a Jurgen Klinsmann-inspired Germany clinching the 1996 European Championship.

And Vogts, 65, has praised the courage of both his former charge and current manager Low in their efforts to pioneer a new era for Germany, although admitting work still needs to be done.

"Even after he [Low] walks on water, his critics always find a way to remind him he can't swim," sighed the former Borussia Monchengladbach defender to German publication WAZ. "Thanks to him, we have a generation of players that plays very elegantly."

"Everything both he and Klinsmann have done should be honoured. Discussions about his suitability for the Germany job should never have arisen. We were the best team of Euro 2012 until the last hurdle.

"We should have made it to the final, but we made things too easy for the Italians. Approaching the World Cup in Brazil, I'd put us at only about 80 percent readiness, but our players would already have learnt something from this competition."

Bundesliga runners-up Bayern Munich defeated champions Borussia Dortmund on Sunday during the German Supercup, and Vogts has tipped a close fight for this season's title.

"Jupp Heynckes and Matthias Sammer at Bayern make for a great pairing, while Jurgen Klopp is the father of Dortmund's success, helped along by general manager [Hans-Joachim] Watzke's presence.

"Both will battle it out for the championship, though it will no longer be so easy for Dortmund. Don't expect it to be anymore the case when Dortmund beat Bayern three times in one season."

Klopp overcame counterpart Heynckes twice in the league the previous season, before ousting the Bavarian giants further in the DFB-Pokal final.

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