Löw: "The anticipation is great"
Just over 24 hours before Germany’s EURO2020 campaign gets underway in Munich against France (Tuesday, 21:00 CEST), head coach Joachim Löw and captain Manuel Neuer spoke to the media in the final press conference before the game. DFB.de has rounded up the highlights.
Joachim Löw on…
… the situation ahead of the game: There’s a great anticipation because we’re going up against the current world champions. We have prepared very well over the past two weeks and made some steps in the right direction. There's a good atmosphere, and also a lot of ambition and drive. We are well prepared and looking forward to getting started.
… team news: With the exception of Jonas Hofmann, everyone took part in training, including Leon Goretzka. He’s taken part in four or five sessions with the team now and has made a good impression. His injury is gone now. The medical department have said that there is no risk, but we’ve agreed to talk with him and the medical team after the final training session today to discuss whether he can be involved. What is clear, however, is that he will not be in the starting XI; he has been out for too long. Bernd Leno will be the second choice behind Manuel Neuer. We will make a new decision on that each time. A final decision has still not been made on which two players alongside Jonas Hofmann will not be named in the matchday squad. Everyone deserves to make it.
… his feelings ahead of the game: Ahead of a tournament, you always can feel the positive atmosphere and a sense of anticipation. I really thought to myself today: it's finally getting underway, finally we can get stuck in. On the inside, I'm calm and relaxed. I think we have achieved what we set out to in the past 14 days. The last two years have not always been easy, we have discussed and talked about a lot in the last two weeks. Little by little, things have come together better and the way things have been going has improved. It's important that we are full of with ambition and that we're be able to take on and win the one-on-one duels and put everything on the line. I have this impression of the team. The team spirit is brilliant and everyone is very hungry for success at this tournament. That makes me confident and allows me to sleep easily at night.
… his final tournament: I don’t think about it being my final games. I'm too focused and too busy for that, of course also in the tunnel to a certain extent. Maybe when the time comes, a little sadness and nostalgia will set in.
… how the team compares to France: We also have a lot of quality in our squad. We have a really good mix. On each side, there are players who can decide games. I think the attacking ranks of either team can be really dangerous. You have to be alert at all times, because all of these players are capable of doing something.
Manuel Neuer on…
… the EUROs opening game: We are looking forward to the start and to a hopefully successful European Championship. It is something very special for me to have these games in Munich. We are pleased to be able to start here in Munich, similar to in 2006. We are looking forward to it and need all the support.
… the plan against France: Of course, we don't need to reveal anything before the game, that always has to happen on the pitch. We have to show our character and show that we absolutely want to win our games.
… the importance of set-pieces: The preparation and analysis is important, how the other team behaves, how we behave. It depends on each individual how they approach these kinds of situations. We can be a threat ourselves in attack. At the other end, we need to complete stability.
… the home advantage and the return of fans: It is a step in the right direction. You could see in the first games that the spectators want to support their team. We are pleased that spectators will be there and we are looking forward to our fans and the support.
… France: Every game starts at 0-0. We know that France have played a lot of successful football in recent years. But I think that we’re also a good team who are uncomfortable to play against. We want to go into it confidently, with our heads high. We don’t see ourselves as the underdogs, but rather want to win our game here in Munich. We have to try to defend everything with passion.