EURO 2016 opening fixture, personnel situation, Nivel’s invitation: At the first press conference from Germany’s European Championship base in Évian-les-Bains, DFB President Reinhard Grindel and Joachim Löw spoke about Die Mannschaft’s first game against Ukraine on Sunday (21:00 CEST) in Lille, Antonio Rüdiger’s injury and a very special visit.
... possible replacement for Antonio Rüdiger in the first game: Shkodran Mustafi has some experience. Another possibility is to move Benedikt Höwedes to the centre. I have faith in both of them. Jerome Boateng and Benedikt Höwedes played together for the U21s.
... the personnel situation: Mats Hummels has completed a first individual session with the ball. He is developing well and we’re looking at the situation day-by-day. Joshua Kimmich (cold) and Julian Weigl (calf) both missed training this morning. We hope that the entire team, with the exception of Hummels, can train together tomorrow.
... the hierarchy in the team: Toni Kroos is a point of focus in our team; he has all the qualities that you need as a midfielder. We have a strong player council with Jerome Boateng, Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos and Mats Hummels. They all play a central role and are at the top of the pyramid. After the World Cup, they’ve all developed brilliantly and are in a position to be able to assume this responsibility. They look out for the other players, not only themselves, and consider what they can do to help them improve. Bastian Schweinsteiger is the captain; we have worked together for twelve years. For years, he has been a leader, had lots of experience – and as far as his personality and character is concerned, he has a high rank in the team.
... expectations following injury: Several players are missing who, when I was planning, were set to play an important role. It’s clear that I’d obviously have liked the squad to be as I imagined months ago. However, we’re not going to complain now. We have a very good team. I completely trust the players. These things happen, expectations are still high and our aim will not change. It’s a clear thread running through everything we do.
... focus ahead of the Ukraine game: Over the course of the next few days, there will be one or two sessions on tactics for facing our first opponents Ukraine. It is important that the team gains the necessary freshness. We trained twice daily last week and this was noticeable in the game against Hungary.
... Antonio Rüdiger’s injury: I told Toni Rüdiger how sorry and sad we are that he can’t take part in the tournament.
... potential terrorism threat at EURO 2016: There is no concrete proof of a concrete threat. And I assume that we would be informed immediately if that changed. We still trust the French security authorities. They have implemented a comprehensive range of additional measures.
... the visit from Daniel Nivel to the Ukraine game: We are very pleased that Mr Nivel has accepted our invitation, and we hope that his current medical state allows him to make the trip to Lille. It is a lovely sign and an acknowledgement that the DFB have been continuously looking out for him since the terrible incident 18 years ago – not least through the creation of the Daniel Nivel Foundation. We should all respect that his visit is going to take place out of the public eye.