BERLIN (Reuters) - The Euro 2016 trophy is firmly in Germany’s sights, captain Bastian Schweinsteiger said, a day after a lacklustre win over Georgia secured their spot at the tournament in France in their final qualifier.
In an open letter to the fans, Schweinsteiger thanked them for their support and said the world champions could have no other ambition than winning the title, the only major international trophy missing from the Manchester United holding midfielder’s collection.
“In 245 days the Euro will get under way, the final is in 275 days,” Schweinsteiger, who joined United this season after more than a decade at Bayern Munich said.
“As World Cup winners we can only set the highest goals and we want to be in the final in Paris. And I can also say that we want the title. Since Rio (de Janeiro) we have our fourth star (for the fourth World Cup win). Until now all the good things in Germany used to be three but now we want more,” he said.
Germany have won the European crown three times with their last triumph back in 1996 at the tournament in England.
The Germans may be eyeing another title but they were far from convincing in the qualifying campaign, having to wait until their last Group D match on Sunday to make sure of their 12th consecutive European Championship qualification.
Coach Joachim Loew called it the most difficult campaign of the past 12 years after they lost to Ireland and Poland while struggling to beat Scotland.
Germany still managed to clinch top spot on 22 points, one ahead of second-placed Poland.
“In the first games after the World Cup we did not get the results we wanted,” Schweinsteiger said. “But we always trusted in us and never doubted we would live up to that trust. We united as a team and can say today that we had a successful qualification campaign.”
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Ken Ferris