Midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben have had their fair share of defeats in recent weeks.
Pipped for the second time in a row to the Bundesliga title by Borussia Dortmund, Schweinsteiger and Robben were in the Bayern side that was hammered 5-2 by Dortmund in the German Cup final and then a week later teamed up again as Bayern’s dream of becoming the first side to lift the Champions League title at home was scuppered by a penalty shoot-out defeat against Chelsea.
In that match, both Robben and Schweinsteiger missed a penalty — Robben in extra-time and Schweinsteiger the decisive one in the shoot-out.
For both, the defeats weighed heavily on their shoulders coming into the Euro 2012 finals, and both failed to impress in their respective sides’ opening game.
But unlike Schweinsteiger, whose teammates carried him through to a 1-0 victory against Portugal, Robben and the other members of the Dutch squad were stunned 1-0 by outsiders Denmark.
As the referee blew the final whistle in the Metalist stadium in Kharkiv, Robben slumped to the ground and lay outstretched on his back for several minutes.
On Wednesday, the two go head-to-head in Kharkiv as Germany take on the Netherlands in a game the Dutch can ill afford to lose, as anything but a victory will make their participation at the finals past the group stage unlikely.
Germany, on the other hand, can go into the game without too much pressure. And even though Schweinsteiger, like Robben, was disappointed in his opening game, his place in the starting line-up is not under threat as Germany coach Joachim Loew has stressed that his team cannot do without its vice-captain.
Although Schweinsteiger has suffered a number of injuries this season, Loew played him from the beginning against Portugal. “He had the rhythm and also played the final matches for his club.” Schweinsteiger is now hoping that the tournament will turn things around for him after the disappointments suffered earlier. “It is about time that we pick up a title,” he said.
Keywords: Euro 2012