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Our Freund at the Euros!

Posted on 11 June 2008  - 12:00

Lane legend Steffen Freund - European Championship winner with Germany in 1996 - offers his expert opinion to Spurs fans on events in Austria and Switzerland with a regular column for us for the rest of Euro 2008.

Our Freund at the Euros!

Lane legend Steffen Freund - European Championship winner with Germany in 1996 - offers his expert opinion to Spurs fans on events in Austria and Switzerland with a regular column for us for the rest of Euro 2008.

Capped 21 times by Germany, Steffen was also in his country's World Cup squad in 1998 and was a huge favourite during his four years at the Lane, where he made over 100 appearances in all competitions and won the League Cup in 1999.

Most recently assistant coach of the German Under-20 team, Steffen was drafted in to coach alongside Nigerian boss Berti Vogts during the African Cup of Nations. He will next take up assistant duties with Germany Under-18s.

In the meantime, he's completing his UEFA Pro Licence and is due to travel to the tournament for Germany's next group matches against Croatia and Austria.

FIRST of all, it's great to be talking to Spurs fans again.

I always say that my relationship with the supporters during my time at Tottenham was special and something I'll always remember. It's been a few years now since I left the club but their reaction towards me is always fantastic. It's something I treasure.

So to the tournament. The teams have all played once now and like everyone else, I've been impressed with Portugal, Spain and of course Germany but I have to say Holland's 3-0 win against Italy was the big surprise for me. They were superb that night.

Having said that, teams have only played once and from my own tournament experience, every team is still in it and that applies to Italy as well. They still have the ability and the know-how to progress and they won't like what happened to them against the Dutch. It will be difficult for them and the pressure is on but things can change so quickly - they could beat Romania, France could beat Holland and then it would be all in the balance again.

It's too early to say who are the favourites, who will be going out or even who will make the quarter-finals - Germany will be there though, but I would say that!

Germany went into the tournament as the favourites and everyone knows that when Germany win the first game of a tournament, they can go on to win it!

It was a brilliant performance against Poland and that will give them the platform to build-up confidence, team spirit - everything needed to go all the way. I'm sure teams will be worried about them. They could be unstoppable!

People have talked about the style of Germany's football both now and in the last World Cup and that it's different to when I was playing in the 1990s.

All I will say is that football has changed in the 12 years since we won this tournament in England in 1996.

Modern football is quick football, it's all about one touch, two touch, moving the ball around quickly and when you lose the ball, work to get it back as soon as possible. Players aren't on the ball usually for more than one or two seconds. It's all about that tempo.

I'm now travelling out to Austria to watch Germany's games against Croatia and Austria. It's actually part of my Pro Licence. I have my A and B Licences and now I'm studying for my Pro Licence for 11 months. I'm back at school - can you imagine it!