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Bayern and Bundesliga a hit at Euro 2008

Austria and Switzerland are jointly hosting the 2008 European championships, but one of their shared neighbours will enjoy a powerful presence in the Alpine nations from Saturday onwards. The German Bundesliga is providing more players for the tournament than any other domestic league.

Fifty-seven of the 368 players nominated by national associations for Euro 2008 earn their wages in the German top flight, putting the Bundesliga significantly ahead of other top leagues such as England (43 players), Spain (41) and Italy (36). Fifteen of the 16 nations contesting the continental championship have named at least one Bundesliga player in their squads, with Spain the only exception.

FCB earn heavyweight status

“It’s proof of the Bundesliga’s quality,” League Association President Dr Reinhard Rauball commented approvingly. Bayern can also take great pride in providing nine players for the tournament (plus Tim Borowski, who joins Munich on 1 July), the best performance by a German club and an impressive figure in comparison to other European teams. Only Olympique Lyon (11) and Athens giants Panathinaikos (10) are sending more players.

Bayern stars are also riding high in pre-tournament predictions regarding the likely top scorer and best player. Polled by news agency dpa, the Bundesliga’s 38 non-German players at the Euro named Luca Toni as the potential leading scorer, with Franck Ribéry matching Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as a contender for player of the tournament. Bayern and the Bundesliga appear well set for a leading role at Euro 2008.

The 57 Bundesliga stars at Euro 2008 (FCB players in bold):

Germany (19): Jansen, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Klose, Podolski, Borowski, Adler, Enke, Westermann, Friedrich, Mertesacker, Fritz, Frings, Hitzlsperger, Gomez, Neuville, Trochowski, Rolfes, Kuranyi

Switzerland (6): Benaglio, Magnin, Spycher, Philipp Degen, Barnetta, Frei

Czech Republic (6): Blazek, Galasek, Jarolim, Skacel, Fenin, Koller

Croatia (6): Simunic, Robert Kovac, Rakitic, Klasnic, Olic, Petric

Greece (4): Kyrgiakos, Amanatidis, Charisteas, Gekas

Netherlands (3): Van der Vaart, De Jong, Mathijsen

France (2): Sagnol, Ribéry

Poland (2): Krzynowek, Blaszczykowski

Austria (2): Özcan, Harnik

Portugal (2): Meira, Almeida

Russia (1): Saenko

Sweden (1): Rosenberg

Italy (1): Toni

Romania (1): Marica

Turkey (1): Hamit Altintop