Germany go into Euro 2012 among the favourites, but this time it has less to do with past successes and more to do with their modern game that has won over legions of new fans.
The three-time European champions have been without a major trophy for 16 years, despite being tagged favourites at most tournaments since 1996.
This time round, however, their Euro group rivals, - Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark - will come up against one of the youngest, fastest and most furious German teams in at least a generation.
Players like Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer quickly made a name for themselves at the 2010 World Cup with a dazzling display of fast-paced football and lethal finishing that saw them crush England 4-1 and Argentina 4-0 en route to a third-place finish.
The vast majority of coach Joachim Loew's players were just youngsters when Oliver Bierhoff, now the team's manager, scored a golden goal to hand Germany the Euro trophy in 1996.
Many of them were mere toddlers when Franz Beckenbauer coached the national side to their last of their three World Cup wins in 1990.
"It is clear that Germany go into such tournaments always as favourites," Loew said. "But it is also clear that there is not just one favourite, not just Germany. I have often said there is Spain, Italy, France, they are all among those capable of winning it."
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