Schweinsteiger v Robben – The battle of the fallen heroes

Published on Juni 12th, 2012 at 17:27 UTC

Bastian Schweinsteiger v Arjen Robben

The UEFA EURO 2012 will witness one of its most epic matches on paper, when arch rivals Germany and the Netherlands clash at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine on Wednesday. The battle of the European giants will not only be a clash of two title favourites, but it will be also the battle of two fallen heroes of FC Bayern Munich: Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben.

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Schweinsteiger and Robben were the tragic figures of the UEFA Champions League final, which Bayern Munich lost to EPL side Chelsea FC. Robben missed a penalty kick in extra-time, while Schweinsteiger was denied glory from the spot during the penalty shoot-out.

The disappointment of losing the UEFA Champions League final in such a tragic way and losing the opportunity to become the first European club to lift the title at home has left both superstars stranded in agony in the days and weeks after the “Finale dahoam” (Bavarian: “Final at home”).

Dutchmen Robben was even booed by a section of Bayern fans, when the German Bundesliga side took on the Netherlands national team in a friendly match just three days after the UEFA Champions League final. This section of the Bayern fans made Robben responsible for a season without a title for the German club, which has the ambition to finish off each season with at least one title.

Germany’s Schweinsteiger on the other side had to deal with the fact that he missed the decisive penalty in the UCL final. The 27-year-old midfielder is a product of the Bayern academy and is deeply ingrained with the club. Winning the UEFA Champions League final at the Allianz Arena was a childhood dream for the Germany star and losing the same has proved to be a long mental drop down for him.

Now these two stars of the beautiful game will be back together on a football pitch, but they will be wearing different jerseys this time. It’s the time to lock horns for their countries at the European Championship and a “do or die” situation for both players in their aim to win the crown of European football.

Germany started off with a 1-0 win against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, while the Dutch team suffered a surprising 0-1 loss by the hands of Denmark. Bert van Marwijk’s team is under pressure against the Germans as a second loss would virtually mean the end of the journey for the highly-rated “Elftal”.

Schweinsteiger will play a crucial role in Joachim Löw’s plans to tackle the expected fireworks by the Dutch team. The German coach has confidence in his star and he has made clear that Schweinsteiger will be at his best against the Netherlands.

“He is positively confident. He has an excellent body language. He is ambitious and he has the desire to win,” Löw told at the German press conference on Tuesday.

“Bastian was fully present as a midfield organiser along with Sami Khedira (against Portugal),” Löw continued. “They were in full control of the game and both of them were really good.”

Bastian Schweinsteiger needs to “torture himself into the tournament” according to Löw. Schweinsteiger. “I’m fine and I have no problems,” the Bayern star stated at the sidelines of the German training session. “We need to take step by step. We will concentrate on our game and we want to win the match. It’s about time that we pick up a title!”

Arjen Robben is aware of the volatile situation and the pressure on his team to win the match against the central European neighbours. “It’s almost high noon,” said Robben. “Germany is an established team with excellent players.”

Fans in both countries are expecting a lot from the Netherlands v Germany encounter, while Schweinsteiger and Robben will be in the focus of many people. One of these two superstars could be the match winner for his team, while the losing player could collapse under the mental pressure.

Netherlands v Germany – it is a battle of the giants and the fallen heroes. But who will rise to glory somewhere in the Ukraine and who will be tragic player of this 2011/12 season? 90 minutes of football will give us the answer to all the questions…!

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