Klose: We must look to the future
Miroslav Klose is confident Germany can put the FIFA World Cup™ behind them and focus on qualifying for UEFA EURO 2012. Joachim Low's side face their first competitive game since beating Uruguay in match for third place at South Africa 2010 when they take on Belgium in their Group A opener.
"Of course the World Cup is still an issue," Klose told Team.dfb.de. "But we are all clear that the World Cup is over and we must look to the future. We are facing a new challenge.
"We have to start the European Championship qualifiers against Belgium and Azerbaijan, two major challenges that we must successfully overcome, two games from which we want to take six points."
Philipp Lahm will wear the captain's armband, as he did in South Africa, but coach Joachim Low yesterday made the decision to stick with Michael Ballack, not yet considered fit enough for national team duty, in the long term.
"I don't think it's so important," said Klose. "For me it is crucial that a certain core of players for the team feels responsible. Everything else just distracts from what is our main task: playing good and successful football."
"There is a new generation of players coming through," he said. "There are many new, young and good players here. In the last match against Finland, most players were 17 to 24 years old, with many talented players from big clubs such as Ajax, Manchester City and Arsenal."
The pool's other game tomorrow sees Turkey travel to Kazakhstan in Guus Hiddink's first competitive game in charge of the former. Neither side qualified for South Africa 2010.
The other two teams in Group A, Austria and Azerbaijan, do not make their entrance until Tuesday.