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Thu 24 Apr 2008 01:36 AM

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Euro title up for grabs, says Loew

This summer's European Championships will be one of most closely-contested ever, German coach predicts.

German coach Joachim Loew has indicated that this summer's European Championships in Switzerland and Austria would be one of the most closely-contested ever with several sides in with a shout of glory.

"At the last World Cup there were 11 European sides in the last 16, six in the quarters and the Europeans monopolised the semi-finals," Loew said in an interview published by the Tagesspiegel and Frankfurter Rundschau newspapers.

"This tournament will be the most closely contested in history - there is no big favourite," he concluded.

"Of course you can count on Italy and France but I really think all the teams have a chance," Low added.

Regarding his own team, Loew, who took over from Jurgen Klinsmann after the 2006 World Cup, said that Die Mannschaft "must still progress."

"In terms of rhythm of play and passing accuracy German football must in general do a lot more in terms of education," Loew opined.

"I expect us in principle to get through the opening phase even if that will be more difficult than one expects," he added.

The Germans face Poland, Croatia and Austria in Group B.

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