U21 boss Kuntz insists Germany no one-man team


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Head coach Stefan Kuntz insists his Germany under-21 side are more than just a one-man team as they prepare to face Spain in a repeat of the 2017 European Under-21 Championship final on Sunday.

Freiburg forward Luca Waldschmidt has set the tournament in Italy and San Marino alight with his goalscoring and will be looking to set a new tournament record for the defending champions when Germany’s current crop of youngsters meet their Spanish counterparts at the Stadio Friuli in Udine.

The 23-year-old has bagged seven goals so far, including a hat-trick in the group-stage victory over Norway. An eighth goal in the tournament would see him surpass Swede Marcus Berg’s record, set in 2009.

“He had a great performance, but I don’t want to single out one of my players,” said Kuntz after Germany’s 4-2 semi-final win over Romania in Bologna. “It’s the group that’s important, even those who didn’t play a minute are also important for the team spirit.”

Spain – the 1.50 favourites to lift the trophy – are seeking revenge for a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Germany in Krakow two years ago.

Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, who could be moving to Serie A this summer, has been the star man for Spain as they target a record-equalling fifth trophy at this level. Spain began their campaign with defeat to Italy but cruised past France 4-1 in their semi-final.

“This team is getting better with every match,” said coach Luis de la Fuente. “I have a team that is growing, which is capable of overcoming difficult moments.

“The defeat against Italy made us stronger. I don’t think my players are yet at their maximum.”

Spain are 2.10 to prevail within the 90 minutes of the match, with the draw at 3.50 and Germany 3.40 to get the win that retains their title.

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