Germany defender Mats Hummels does not believe that Germany have a greater chance of winning Euro 2012 than England, insisting that the Three Lions have their unique set of unmatched qualities.
Hummels’ compatriots such as Lukas Podolski have made it clear that the quality of English football on a domestic level is superior to the rapidly rising German Bundesliga but on the national level, the reverse is often perceived to be true.
However, having studied England’s national team closely and knowing that Frank Lampard’s ghost goal in the 2010 FIFA World Cup was waived off incorrectly, Hummels believes that the Lions tend to get less credit than they deserve.
“Does English football fail?” the centre half asks. You [Chelsea] won the Champions League [against Bayern Munich this year], that’s OK. For the national team, you can’t say Germany is better than England [either], Hummels told reporters.
The Borussia Dortmund youngster added: “In 2010, it was a goal for [Frank] Lampard, of course. If it counts, Germany has a problem. It was a good moment for us because it meant we could play on the counter attack.
“If that goal counts, maybe England goes on to win. If you score, you get more confidence. It could easily have been the case that England could have won the game.”
While Hummels acknowledges that Germany’s young generation of footballers presents a promising future, he argues that England can feel the same way.
He explained: “It could be that in five years’ time England may have 20 good young players. I don’t think we are special in the way of that English generation.
“In the under-21 side I played with Khedira, Neuer, Boateng and Ozil. You have Milner, Walcott and Joe Hart. There is not a big difference.
“English football is more powerful, more athletic. The players are stronger than ours. Mesut [Ozil] is a little slight. You do not see players like that in England. Terry, Rooney, Gerrard. They are all machines.
“That could be the difference. But the technical level of the players is very similar,” the 23-year old concluded.