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Federation boss praises Germany's continuity
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2012 by YAHOO Sport

GDANSK (Reuters) - Germany had some of the pressure lifted ahead of their Euro 2012 clash with Italy on Thursday with federation president Wolfgang Niersbach saying it would not be the end of the world to lose another semi-final.

 Niersbach praised the team's stability after reaching their fourth consecutive semi-final in a major tournament and said anything beyond this stage would be a bonus.

 Germany have never beaten Italy in a major tournament in seven attempts.

 "Reaching the last four for the fourth tournament in a row is a sign of continuity and stability," Niersbach told reporters at the closing news conference at their base in Gdansk.

 "It is the federation's wish - it is not a demand but specifically a wish - that we finally reach the very top once."

 "Whatever comes after this stage is a bonus and it will not be the end of the world if we do not win because the overall picture is already positive for us."

 The three-time European champions have again fielded the youngest team in the tournament, just like at the 2010 World Cup, but have not won a major trophy since Euro 96.

    Rank Team W/D/L Pts

    Cities & Stadiums

    The Top 3 Teams of Previous Tournaments

    Year Winners Runner-up Third place
    2008SpainGermanyRussia / Turkey
    2004GreecePortugalNetherlands / Czech Republic
    2000FranceItalyNetherlands / Portugal
    1996GermanyCzech RepublicFrance / England
    1992DenmarkGermanyNetherlands / Sweden
    1988NetherlandsSoviet UnionItaly / West Germany
    1984FranceSpainDenmark / Portugal
    1980West GermanyBelgiumCzechoslovakia
    1976CzechoslovakiaWest GermanyNetherlands
    1972West GermanySoviet UnionBelgium
    1964SpainSoviet UnionHungary
    1960Soviet UnionYugoslaviaCzechoslovakia