thumbnail Hello,

The versatile defender has insisted that while the Bundesliga's top sides compete fiercely at club level, their players unite when wearing the kit of their national team


GERMANY
GROUP A
HOW THEY QUALIFIED
P
PTS
 GERMANY 10 30
 TURKEY 10 17
 BELGIUM 10 15
 AUSTRIA 10 12
 AZERBAIJAN 10 7
 KAZAKHSTAN 10 4

EXCLUSIVE
By Kornel Pracki & David Jezierski

Germany right-back Jerome Boateng has stressed that there is no divide between players from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund when they compete at international level.

A considerable rivalry between the Bundesliga giants has developed on and off the pitch over the last couple years, with their heated matches and volleys in the media leading to suggestions that a rift exists between the clubs' representatives heading into Euro 2012, but Boateng has denied these assertions.

"There's honestly no rivalry between us. Sure, you want to win every game," he told Goal.com. "But in the national team, we play for all."

With Germany's Euro 2012 campaign set to kick off on Saturday, Boateng is hoping for a good showing from the Mannschaft as they aim to win their first major international tournament since the 1996 European Championship.

"I hope that Euro 2012 will be a great spectacle for the fans and that we will play some great games," he said. " I hope that we will make a good impression of ourselves and will play successful football. If this is the case and the fans support us, it will be a great experience for both sides."

However, Boateng was quick to play down claims that Germany would enter the competition as favourites to lift the trophy.

"Spain and Netherlands are the favourites. I think that France can also play a big role," the 23-year-old said. "Of course I hope that we will be out in front."

Joachim Low's side have had some hurdles to overcome, with the coach having publicly demanded improvement after recent friendlies against Switzerland and Israel.

Among other concerns, an injury has kept vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger sidelined for the warm-up matches and threatens to see him miss Germany's Group B opener against Portugal. However, Boateng feels that Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira can form a strong enough partnership in defensive midfield to see his side through to victory.

"Yes, for sure. Both players have a lot of quality. One players for Real Madrid, the other for Bayern."

However, he added: "You shouldn't take too much from friendly matches, because when it comes to playing competitively, it always looks very different."

Finally, Boateng weighed in on the chances Euro Poland and Ukraine have as they co-host a tournament for the first time.

"I think that Poland and Ukraine will have their fans behind them and have a decent chance of making it out of the group stage. The countries' teams are not bad."

Related

From the web