Created on 03-06-2008 at 00:00 AM
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