By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel has picked Germany ahead of world champions Spain as the favourites for Euro 2012.
The European Championship will be held in Poland and Ukraine from June 8 to July 1.
The former Denmark goalkeeper, who is the Carlsberg ambassador for Euro 2012, said Germany have a more solid team than Spain.
“The German Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in the world and has shown improvement since Germany finished runners-up to Spain in Vienna in 2008.
“The German team are good in every department and most of their players feature in the domestic league,” said Schmeichel.
“As for Spain, although they have good midfielders from Barcelona, they are playing in too many matches.
“Besides the Spanish league, the players are also heavily involved in the European club championships. I don’t think they will be fresh for Euro 2012,” said Schmeichel.
The Spanish national stars playing for Barcelona are Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas.
Schmeichel added that the European Championship is regarded as one of the toughest competitions in the world as out of the 16 teams in the finals, 14 are ranked among the top 20 by FIFA.
Spain are the world No. 1 followed by Holland and Germany.
Germany are drawn in a tough Group B with World Cup runners-up Holland, Portugal and Denmark.
“Denmark don’t have great players like Germany and Holland but we stand a chance against Portugal as we have beaten them in three of our four meetings,” said Schmeichel, who picked Manchester United to win their 20th Premier League title this season.
“United are leading by five points over Manchester City with seven matches to go. All the MU fans in the world, including me, will be really disappointed if they fail to retain the title,” he said.
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