Ex-Germany star Lothar Matthaeus fancies England, France for Euro 2020
Ex-Bayern star says rejuvenated Germany are good but are not ready yet
Germany may be the joint-most successful team in European Championship history, but Die Mannschaft legend Lothar Matthaeus believes arch-rivals England are better placed to win Euro 2020.
His comments come as Germany coach Joachim Loew opined that six teams - England, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Holland - are better prepared for success at European football's showpiece tournament next June.
The 58-year-old, who was in Indonesia as an ambassador for the Bundesliga, told The New Paper via a phone interview last weekend: "We've refreshed the team very well. We've got good talented players, but I hope they are ready next year.
"Germany are always one of the favourites, but I don't think they are No. 1 at this moment.
"The French are a little bit better. The English are a little bit better. The Spanish and Italians are on the same level as Germany.
"But it is a tough competition. For a team to win the European Championship, they would have to play five or six wonderful games."
Matthaeus should know, having been a part of Germany's European Championship-winning team in 1980. He also lifted the World Cup 10 years later.
The man whose name is synonymous with the libero position also enjoys legendary status at Bayern Munich, where he won seven Bundesliga crowns over two spells.
Matthaeus believes Ajax Amsterdam coach Erik ten Hag is the right man to assume the hot seat at his former club, but has backed Hansi Flick in the interim.
Bayern, who have won the last seven Bundesliga titles, dispensed with Niko Kovac this month after a 5-1 thrashing by Eintracht Frankfurt.
BAYERN BACK FLICK
They replaced him with Flick, Loew's former assistant, who oversaw a 4-0 hammering of last year's runners-up Borussia Dortmund in just his second match in charge.
Bayern said that the 54-year-old would continue as the club's interim head coach "at least until Christmas, or maybe even beyond".
Matthaeus backed the appointment of his former Bayern teammate in the meantime, but said that the German giants should eventually move for ten Hag.
The Dutchman coached Bayern's second team from 2013-2015, before leading Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals last season. Only a 96th-minute goal and the away-goals rule saw them miss out on the final.
Ten Hag, 49, has since said that Bayern are "still in my heart", but insists he will end the season in Amsterdam.
Matthaeus sees no problem with that, saying that in the short term, Flick can win back a dressing room that reportedly had abandoned Kovac during his final days.
"We have now a very good coach at Bayern, he's not too famous, but he's done a very good job," he said.
"I know him from 30 years ago when we played together at Bayern, he was assistant to Jogi Loew when Germany won the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
"He knows all the players. He is somebody who can talk nicely with players, he knows what he wants and players follow him.
"This is the most important thing. The players have to respect the coach and the club have to be behind the coach 100 per cent.
"It's the safer option for Hansi Flick to stay for one or two more years. In the future, when Bayern would like to have a (new) coach, then ten Hag can be the right man for Bayern.
"He speaks German, he had two years in Bayern's youth team. He plays a fantastic style of football with Ajax getting good results."