Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel believes that his side have a great chance of winning the European Championship, but accepts that they will have to see off competition from Germany and Spain.
Bert van Marwijk’s men lost just once in qualifying for the Ukraine and Poland tournament, and, despite mixed performances during their friendly warm-up games, the PSV-bound midfielder feels that the Dutch can make up for their defeat in the 2010 World Cup final.
“I strongly believe that we can win the European Championship,” Van Bommel told Dutch publication Metro.
“Germany therefore belongs with the favourites, like Spain and us. And below you have countries like Italy, France and England.
“I think it is a great tournament with hopefully a good end for us.”
At 35 years old, Euro 2012 could well be Van Bommel’s final chance to taste glory at the international level, but he is remaining optimistic.
“You should never see something as a last chance in football. In football, you can predict nothing.
“At Bayern (Munich) we thought in 2010 it would be our last chance to win the Champions League, but two years later they are back in the final. We have to believe in it, without getting complacent.”
Arjen Robben was part of the Bayern side, along with eight Germany internationals, that tasted Champions League defeat last month but van Bommel expects them all to bounce back. “I don’t think it’s a problem for Germany that they have eight disappointed internationals. It is good to have another goal to focus on after a disappointment.
“Arjen is mentally strong. After every setback he comes back stronger and plays the game as if nothing is wrong.
Netherlands begin the Euro 2012 campaign when they face Denmark in the Metalist Stadium on June 9.