Die Mannschaft get 2016 underway with two classic fixtures. On Saturday (20:45 CET) they face England in the Olmypiastadion in Berlin, before travelling south to take on Italy (20:45 CET) at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos faced the media this afternoon in Berlin, and answered questions on the upcoming games, the opposition, Mario Götze and Bastian Schweinstieger’s recent injury. DFB.de have summarised the most important points.
...the EUROs: We are of course discussing the European Championships a bit already. We haven’t met up since November, so it’s important for us to train together. Preparations for the EUROs are certainly underway.
...the upcoming matches: The teams we are facing are very good, which is what we wanted. The results will be largely irrelevant in terms of the championships this summer. Having said that, it’s a good indication of where we are as a team, and the experience can only benefit us. I’m sure a lot of players will get minutes out there, and we’re looking forward to showing what we are capable of.
...Bastian Schweinsteiger's injury: It is of course very frustrating for him and for us. He injured himself in the very first training back, which is disappointing. There’s still a bit of time left until the EUROs, but it’s hard to say now how long he will need to make a full recovery. Anything is possible though, and it’s important to have the captain on board this summer. He can help us, regardless of whether he plays from the first or third match - you saw that at the World Cup.
...safety at the EUROs: The tournament should take place. We feel very safe. It’s nothing to do with us really, and so we have to trust that the right people will make the right decisions - but I have no doubt that will happen.
...Mario Götze's situation: Ultimately a player’s quality can only be judged on their current performances. It doesn’t matter what players have done in the past. Mario adds a lot to our squad, as he always has done. The situation at Bayern has nothing to do with what he can do for us here. This year at Bayern we have had seven or eight players competing for about three positions in the starting XI. I hope that he is able to prove the doubters wrong with some impressive performances for Germany.
...stamina at the EUROs: We’ve got the energy, but there are plenty of other fit teams, so it will be a tight race. We want to give our all out there, but you can never guarantee a win or even a place in the latter stages. However, we’re not going there to leave early.
...the EUROs: It's important that we are together for four days, and that we can challenge ourselves against two very good sides. We all know that it’s crunch time with our respective clubs, but from the middle of May we will all be 100% focused on the EUROs.
...the upcoming matches: They may only be friendlies, but we want to try and win. The games represent a good opportunity for the manager to gain more of an insight, and to try and few things out.
...Bastian Schweinsteiger's injury: It’s very frustrating for him, particularly as he just returned from an injury lay-off. He is a very valuable player for us, he has proved that many a time. It’s not his first injury, and we have played without Basti before in the past - we will adapt.
...safety at the EUROs: Sometimes you can’t do anything about it, but it has nothing to do with the EUROs. It can happen anywhere, we saw that again recently.
...Mario Götze's situation: There is no doubting his quality but it's not an easy situation for him. The fact that so much is being said about him is simply because he has the quality.
...England: England are a very good team, and have a good chance this summer. If you look at their squad they’ve clearly got some good players. They know what they’re doing and have fast attacking players.
...his position following Schweinsteiger's injury: It doesn’t change much for me, I haven’t discussed it with the manager yet. My role doesn’t really matter; I’ll be in the midfield somewhere.