Beauties of the Beautiful Game: Germany/Denmark

By Staff

Germany is perfect in the group stage and taking on Greece in the quarters; Denmark just missed the cut.

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Denmark: 1-0-2, fails to qualify

The Danish had a tough draw after being slotted in Group B, the media-dubbed “Group of Death.” With Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal all pulling for the top two spots, it was easy to see an odd man out in Denmark. They have individual talent at each part of the pitch — Daniel Agger on defense, Christian Eriksen in the midfield and Nicklas Bendtner up front — but the supporting cast is a little thin. Still, they pulled out an upset win over the Netherlands and left them wallowing at the bottom of the group. Long-serving coach Morten Olsen, thought to be retiring after the Euro, has changed his plans and will be on the sidelines in 2014 at the World Cup, so finishing third against stiff competition is a good start for a team that will surely have a little more experience in two years.

Germany: 3-0-0, advances to elimination round

Germany is the only side to go 3-0 in the Euro group stages, and they owe it at least in part to an infusion of talented youngsters like Mats Hummels, Mesut Özil, Mario Götze and Thomas Müller. Many believe they’ve closed the gap on tournament favorites Spain in terms of talent, but experience on the international stage is still in Spain’s favor. The German side has lost a leader in Michael Ballack, and while there are still some veteran mainstays on the pitch, they could lack the cohesion and guidance needed to overtake Spain, who they’ll likely meet in the semi-finals, barring an upset at the hands of the Greeks. 

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