Hitzfeld tips Germany for EURO glory

Germany may have raised eyebrows by playing so impressively to eliminate fancied Portugal and reach the semi-finals, but not those of Ottmar Hitzfeld. The man who masterminded FC Bayern M√ľnchen's recent double-winning season believes the Mannschaft will also overcome Turkey tonight before lifting the UEFA European Championship trophy for a fourth time in Vienna on Sunday.

"I expected them to reach the semis, as I always said that Germany had the chance to become European champions," said Hitzfeld, who takes over as Switzerland coach next month after ending a second successful spell as Bayern boss. "They finished third at the [FIFA] World Cup two years ago, and were a young team then which has evolved further. Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski have all matured, and Michael Ballack has become a great leader. Germany are a team which always gets better as a tournament progresses – they didn't convince in the group stage but came back impressively against Portugal. I predict they will be in the final and become champions."

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