Germany captain Philipp Lahm has spoken of his delight at the manner in which his national teammates have responded to question marks over their abilities to dominate at the grand stage.
The Germans experienced back-to-back semifinal eliminations in their last two World Cup campaigns and were beaten 1-0 by Spain in the Euro 2008 final as well.
Four years removed from that heart-breaking loss, Lahm believes that a perfect three wins-for-three matches display from the Germans is a statement of intent about the team’s credentials for glory.
“All the games were difficult, but three games, three wins, we’ve walked through the group. We have backed up our billing for the group stage and confirmed what we’ve been working on in recent years,” Lahm proudly stated about the German project.
The left-back added: “It hasn’t just come of its own accord. We have a lot of quality in our squad, we’ve said that from the start, and we’ve shown that again today.”
Manager Joachim Low echoed Lahm’s sentiments and alluded to Lars Bender’s late match-winning goal against Denmark yesterday evening as proof of his team’s new-found resilience.
“Three or four years ago, we wouldn’t have won this. But on 60, 70 minutes, all those technical players we have who can take control of the ball stepped up,” the Germany head coach commented.
In a recent column, this writer pointed out to the questionable leadership abilities of Lahm and Low as the weak links in Germany’s silverware ambitions.
Thriving in the early stages of the a major international tournament has proven to be no difficult task for this German side and to be very clear, the success of their project can only be gauged by where they end up when all is said and done on July 1.