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Sports News of Thursday, 17 July 2014


Lahm: Germany need luck to stay champions

Many players and plaudits have suggested that the World Cup winners will dominate for years to come, but the team captain is more realistic about their chances

Germany captain Philipp Lahm believes that the team need a big slice of luck to stay dominant on the international scene in future years.

Joachim Low's men stormed to the final of this summer's World Cup and defeated Argentina in extra-time thanks to Mario Gotze's goal, ending an 18-year wait for major silverware.

Lahm, 30, had experienced semi-final or final heartache in each of the last four tournaments and he is firmly in the camp that success is decided by fine margins, despite suggesting that Germany's consistency has been unrivalled in recent years.

"The German national set-up over the past eight years have been a great team," he told Bild. "We were always one of the title favourites and always at least reached the last four.

"No other nation has done this. I see no reason why this should it change in the future. Whether it will end up getting enough in the next major tournament, though, also depends on the unpredictable luck factor.

"It helps even if you have experienced losses, but above all it is the triumphs that sharpen your chances at a big tournament like the World Cup.

"You need players who have already experienced everything and participated on the pitch, such as we have in the team.

"As a team, if we meet Spain we would face them with respect. During Euro 2016 they will certainly return to be included as one of the title favourites."

Germany's journey to Euro 2016 will see them need to finish in the top two of a group including Republic of Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Georgia and qualification debutants Gibraltar to automatically secure a place in tournament to be hosted in France.