Back to business for Germany

Germany (AFP)
Germany (AFP)

Berlin - After the glamour of their evening on the red-carpet, world champions Germany get back to the business of turning around their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against minnows Gibraltar on Friday.

Memories of Germany's World Cup win were rekindled when Joachim Loew's squad received an award from president Joachim Gauck for their triumph before Monday's gala premiere of 'Die Mannschaft' - the documentary behind the campaign.

"Germany deserved the title, because they were the only team who always attacked," said FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who before the screening presented the squad with the World Cup winners badge to be worn on their shirts for the next four years.

"If Germany are world champions again in 2018, we won't have to change much on the badge, so it'll be a bit cheaper for us," joked Blatter during the ceremony.

But a look at Germany's Euro 2016 qualifying group table is no laughing matter for the football-mad nation with their team third after last month's shock defeat 2-0 to Poland and 1-1 draw with Ireland after conceding a late equaliser.

The results left Germany in the unusual situation of languishing three points behind leaders Poland with the Irish second.

"I think it's an advantage in preparation for Friday's game that we weren't successful in our last two European Championship qualifiers," said team manager Oliver Bierhoff.

"I believe that there won't be a player who doesn't go out onto the pitch with the right attitude."

Loew's Germans have a golden chance to pull back points in Nuremberg on Friday against bottom side Gibraltar, who have conceded 17 goals without reply in their three games so far.

The same night, Poland are away to Georgia and Ireland play Scotland in Glasgow in a clash of the Celtic countries.

After facing Gibraltar, Germany play Spain in a friendly in Vigo next Tuesday, with the guests having the chance to sign off 2014 in style after losing both the Euro 2008 final and 2010 World Cup semi-final to the Spaniards.

"We haven't forgotten those defeats of course, but the times are changed and we have achieved what we have always wanted to," said Bierhoff.

"We are now the world champions and number one.

"The game will be a celebration of football, because Spain and Germany are the nations who have dominated football in the last six years and it's a prestigious duel.

"It gives us the opportunity to complete the most successful year in the history of the German Football Assocication with a win."

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