Euro 2012 title or nothing for Podolski

by AFP on May 20, 2012

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Arsenal-bound striker Lukas Podolski has said Germany must aim to win Euro 2012 "and nothing else" when they bid to be crowned champions of Europe for the fourth time next month.

Germany open their Euro 2012 campaign in Group B against Portugal in Lviv, Ukraine, on June 9, but Podolski says the aim of Joachim Loew's squad has to be winning the final at Kiev's Olympic Stadium on July 1.

Poland-born Podolski was very clear when asked about Germany's goals for a tournament they last won in England in 1996.

"The title. Nothing else," he told Cologne newspaper Koelner-Stadt-Anzeiger at Germany's training camp in Sardinia, Italy.

"In the last few years it has always been said that when we manage to reach the semi-finals, that is already some success.

"I think before the tournament starts we can say we are ready to play for the title.

"That brings a certain thrust, a force, if you say from the outset: we want to win the title."

With 95 caps for Germany and 43 goals, the 26-year-old has already been part of German teams which finished third at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and reached the final of Euro 2008.

Podolski will play for the Gunners next season in the Premier League after three seasons at Cologne, who were relegated from the Bundesliga at the start of May.

Germany also face World Cup runners-up the Netherlands and Denmark in Group B.