Germany head coach Joachim Löw was an interested onlooker during the second leg of the Champions League semi final between Bayern München and FC Barcelona. Löw was in the Allianz Arena for the match in order to keep a close eye on those players eligible for selection. After the game he spoke to DFB.de.
DFB.de: Mr. Löw, Bayern won 3-2 last night but were still knocked out of the Champions League. What are your thoughts on the game?
Joachim Löw: Obviously I had hope. Bayern have a lot of quality players and certainly had the capability to turn it around. The early lead offered more hope for sure. However, you have to be realistic. Barcelona have the best attack in the world in my opinion. It’s almost impossible to keep Messi, Neymar and Suárez quiet for a full game. Bayern performed well yesterday and showed a lot of character. The tie wasn’t lost yesterday.
DFB.de: There’s no shame in being eliminated by Barcelona.
Löw: I fully agree. They deserve their spot in the final. Bayern represented German football well once again though. They’ve had a great season, won the league and got to the semis of the DFB Cup and Champions League. They’ve performed well despite being stretched recently. At this level of football, nuances make all the difference. Small margins can see you win and lose games. Pep Guardiola and his team gave it their all. We can certainly be proud of the way Bayern performed.
DFB.de: Marc-André ter Stegen played in both legs for Barca. What did you make of the way he performed?
Löw: He showed his potential and talent again. It’s clear that Marc has improved since going to Spain. He is calm and the players around him have plenty of faith in him. He performed incredibly yesterday and made some stunning saves, especially from Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski. He ensured that Barca progressed. I hope that he gets to start in the final.
DFB.de: Mario Götze was on the bench for both legs of the tie. What are your thoughts on his current situation?
Löw: It’s a tough one. Not long ago people were saying he was in the form of his life and now people are saying that he’s struggling. That’s too simplistic and also pretty unfair in my opinion. It’s unfair to judge him solely on the goal he scored in the World Cup final. Mario is an exceptional player. This was clear from day one. He’s no longer a hot prospect but we do have to remember that he is only 22-years-old. We’ve given him responsibility and he’s relished that – he works hard and is always looking to improve. He’s a good character to have around the place as well. Mario has a big future with us and for Bayern. He’s one of the best players on the planet.
DFB.de: Bayern progressed further than any other German side. There won’t be a home representative in the final, which takes place in Berlin.
Löw: However, German players will be on duty. Marc-André ter Stegen has already reached the final and could be joined by Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira.
DFB.de: What are your thoughts on an El Clásico final?
Löw: It would be great, but at the same time so would a Barcelona Juventus final. At this level of football the players and teams are so good that regardless of who is playing in the final, the game will be incredible. A feast of football will take place in Berlin. I hope that Toni and Sami reach the final though, as that would be good for us!