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Euro 2008 tips

FCB experts back Germans to go far

A current Forsa poll of 1,001 German respondents found no fewer than 35 percent backing their own country for Euro 2008 glory, with 12 percent favouring world champions Italy and six percent tipping France. The trio also featured strongly when fcbayern.de canvassed six big-name personalities at the club for their pre-tournament predictions. All our experts tipped Germany to do well in Austria and Switzerland, although the question as to who would be the star player at the continental showdown produced a variety of responses.

Our Euro 2008 poll:

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (FC Bayern Munich AG chairman):
Who’ll win Euro 2008? Germany, Italy or France
Who will they play in the final? See question 1
Who’ll be the star player? Michael Ballack, Miroslav Klose, Cristiano Ronaldo
How will Germany fare? I expect Germany to survive the group phase, but then they’ll need some luck. I’d like Germany to win the trophy, but I’m not over-optimistic, because the Euro is harder than the World Cup.

Bernd Rauch (FC Bayern Munich e.V. vice-president):
Who’ll win Euro 2008? France
Who will they play in the final? Germany
Who’ll be the star player? Michael Ballack
How will Germany fare? Germany will do well and play better football than we currently expect. Michael Ballack will be the main inspiration, he’ll pull the team along with him.

Paul Breitner:
Who’ll win Euro 2008? Germany or Spain
Who will they play in the final? See question 1
Who’ll be the star player? Michael Ballack, Cesc Fabregas
How will Germany fare? Germany will make it at least as far as the semi-finals, and that would rate as a job well done. I’d like Germany to prove the summer of 2006 wasn’t just a passing phase, but the start of a better footballing future.

Hans Pflügler:
Who’ll win Euro 2008? Germany
Who will they play in the final? Italy or Portugal
Who’ll be the star player? Cristiano Ronaldo (but I hope it’ll be Michael Ballack)
How will Germany fare? Every match will be tight. A good start will be important. If Germany reach the semi-finals it’ll count as a successful Euro.

Raimond Aumann:
Who’ll win Euro 2008? Germany
Who will they play in the final? Portugal
Who’ll be the star player? Cristiano Ronaldo
How will Germany fare? Germany have a tough journey ahead of them, they’ll have to hit the ground running. If they start well, they could go all the way. Jogi Löw has the advantage of a well-drilled unit.

'Katsche' Schwarzenbeck:
Who’ll win Euro 2008? Germany
Who will they play in the final? Italy
Who’ll be the star player? Franck Ribéry
How will Germany fare? It’ll definitely be tough for Germany, even against the likes of Austria. These aren’t friendlies any more, everyone will want to beat Germany and they’ll improve 100 percent. In that sense, Germany are a lot like Bayern.