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UEFA: Can Germany Win EURO 2016?

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After successfully having conquered this summer’s World Cup, thrashing Brazil 7-1 and beating out the likes of France and Argentina, can Germany continue their dominant form in EURO 2016?

Looking ahead, that aspiration is not entirely unrealistic. Manuel Neuer, considered by most to be the best goalkeeper in the world, will only be 30 at the time, so considering the relatively little stress net-minding puts on the body, he should retain his spot. The backline, however, could see some overturn. The World Cup winning back line of Marcel Schmelzer, Mats Hummels, Benedict Howedes, and Jerome Boateng will all be of playing age, albeit on the older side.

Due to this, younger prospects such as Borussia Dortmund’s Erik Durm and Matthias Ginter could see their opportunities there. Even though Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has been playing him as a center defensive midfielder as of late, Philipp Lahm, long known as the world’s best right back, announced his international retirement after this summer’s success.

Aside from that aforementioned defensive midfielder role, Die Mannschaft is looking formidable for 2016, with the return of Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan sure to boost an arsenal of talent that already includes the likes of game-winning goal scorer, Mario Gotze and 2010 Golden Boot Winner, Thomas Muller.

While the defensive anchor position might not be vacated by either Bastian Schweinsteiger or Sami Khedira, either of the Bender twins could fill that void if it is.

Up front, Germany was fortunate enough to have Miroslav Klose, the all-time leading scorer at the World Cup, even if he was their only out-and-out striker on the roster. The person he beat out for that role, Mario Gomez, is getting up there in years as well, so barring the introduction of any sudden stars Germany could roll out a false nine formation if necessary, meaning a center forward, perhaps someone like Gotze or Julian Draxler, would take the place of a striker.

However, none of this is to say that this team is a lock to win in two years.

France, the host of this upcoming tournament, have loads of young talent, including but not limited to the likes of Raphael Varane, Paul Pogba, and Antoine Griezmann. Ultimately, though, it could be the nation that geographically divides these two nations that ends their European Championship hopes as well.

Belgium is being touted by many pundits as the next global soccer power, with physically imposing attackers Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku receiving help from brilliantly skilled midfielders Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, not to mention a litany of other studs in their own right.

In short, Germany’s undeniably impressive performance could very well be repeated in just two years.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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