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Published: 13:04 | 18/6/16

Loew critical of Euro 2016 format

Germany manager Joachim Loew says the 16-team European Championship format was "ideal" and bemoaned the 2016 expansion to 24 teams.

European soccer's governing body Uefa expanded the tournament after Euro 2012, but Loew says he preferred the old format as it made every match meaningful.

Before Euro 2016, only the top two from the four groups advanced straight into the quarter-finals, but the introduction of eight extra teams means that there is an additional knock-out round this time round.

"The 16 teams was ideal. It made for great matches from day one." Low said.

"This is a different situation and a return to the old system is obviously not possible anymore. So we have to accept that."

Loew feels that the tournament has become too open, with smaller teams adopting a defensive mentality with the knowledge that they can for broke in the final match should they need to.

"Teams with one point from two matches still have a chance for the Round of 16. That is not very fair but it is what it is," Loew, who is managing Germany in his third Euros, said.

"The smaller nations like Albania or Wales are defensively very well schooled. They see their chance in that, so that is why we had only up to two goals per game until yesterday's Spain win over Turkey."

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