TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s Nadiem Amiri and Hertha BSC’s Arne Maier were at the Germany U21s training camp in Austria and are both in the final squad for the U21 Euros that will take place in Italy and San Marino (16th-30th June). In an interview with DFB.de , both players spoke about their current fitness conditions, training in South Tyrol and the team moral.
DFB.de: Nadiem Amiri and Arne Maier, how do you feel after a week of training with the U21s?
Nadiem Amiri: I feel great. From day to day, it is getting better and I have trained with the team for the last three days.
Arne Maier: I also feel fit and have been training with the team. We want to be at 100% by the time the game against Denmark comes round next week. That is the plan.
DFB.de: Nadiem Amiri, you picked up an ankle injury on the second last game of the season. Arne Maier, you have been out with a knee injury for two months. Did you think you would miss the Euros?
Maier: Of course the worry was there. However, immediately after my injury got diagnosed, my aim was to be fully fit and to make it to the Euros. I am very thankful for the trust from the coaching team and of course to my doctors and physios at my club and in the Germany national team.
Amiri: Of course there is a fear for the future and that you might have to miss out on the tournament. However, you have to be fully focused on recovering and give everything to be back on two feet. I am very thankful to be given the chance to go to the Euros.
DFB.de: In a friendly against a team in South Tyrol, you both got 30 minutes on the pitch (result was 12-0). How did it feel to be back out on the pitch again?
Amiri: It was a great feeling to be back on the pitch and have fun with the team. However, the hardest test will be the first game of the tournament in eight days.
Maier: The friendly was a good step to take after the injury. It was good to get back the feeling of a game and also some light duels on the ball. In the next few days, we will continue our comebacks in training so we are ready for the tournament.
DFB.de: How would you sum up the whole week in South Tyrol? What is the morale like throughout the squad?
Maier: The team are very focused on their preparation and goals for the tournament. We want to as a group come first and also qualify for the Olympics. Therefore, everyone has given 100 percent in every session. I have seen this from the sides when training individually.
Amiri: Precisely. Our session with Coach Esume also worked well, as we got a slight break from the work for the Euros. We have all had fun and are pushing each other to be better in order to give everything for the win.
DFB.de: You can see the disappointment of Cedric Teuchert, Lukas Klünter, Janni Serra and Jordan Torunarigha as these four players weren’t picked in the final 23-man squad.
Maier: Of course. It is a very proud moment to represent Germany at such a big tournament. If you don’t get picked in the squad, it is very disappointing. However, the lads have put their disappointments aside and have wished us luck and said that they will support us from home.
Amiri: The decision can be very difficult for those players. They have been with us for the last few months and played a key role in qualifying us for the tournament. The fact that they have wished us the best success and will support us shows that we are still a very tight group.