The German national team has arrived in Switzerland. One day before the Nations League fixture against Switzerland in Basel on Sunday (20:45 CEST), head coach Joachim Löw and attacker Leroy Sané spoke to the media in a digital press conference.
Joachim Löw on…
… team news: The game against Spain has left its mark. Those who played have needed the last few days for regeneration. Everyone could tell that it was the first game after a long time. According to the doctors, everyone is ready for tomorrow and no-one is injured. All the players, apart from Kai Havertz who left the squad early, are available for selection.
… his line-up tomorrow: Bernd Leno will play in goal – we spoke about that yesterday. For everyone else we’ll wait until the last training session to decide. After that, I’ll have an idea of who has recovered well and who is ready for the game.
… the significance of the Nations League: The most important things are the big tournaments and qualifying. Nonetheless, as sportsmen, we want to win every game. I think that the Nations League is much better than friendlies; you play at the highest level against strong opponents. The games provide an opportunity to learn a lot and get experience. Of course we want to pick up three points against Switzerland tomorrow too, but the key thing is the side’s development.
… Havertz’s move to England: We were in two minds about Kai. On the one hand, his ability on the ball would’ve helped us against Spain, but the risk of an injury before a transfer of this magnitude is too great. The bad thing about the transfer is that the Bundesliga has lost a top player. But by moving abroad, it’ll help Kai’s development. You mature abroad. Kai was sure that he wanted the move and he’s mentally prepared for it. Chelsea is a good club with lots of young players. I don’t think that this has come a year or two too soon for Kai; it’s the right time for him.
… on the next opponent: We’ve seen a lot of Switzerland, and their development since 2014 has been very good. They’re not underdogs anymore, they hold their own amongst the top teams. Switzerland are better than most sides tactically, you see that with their training which is really intensive and individualised. Most of the Swiss players who play in the top European leagues are hugely important players for their clubs. Switzerland play with confidence and are well-oiled going forwards. I see parallels with Spain. But as a coach, you find a weak spot with every team, and you can work to exploit that.
… Julian Draxler: Julian was injured for a long time last year and wasn’t with us for a while. His performance against Spain was really pleasing, he had great moments. He has strong competition at his club with Neymar, Mbappé and Di Maria though.
Leroy Sané on…
… his condition: I feel really good and I’m glad to be back out on the pitch after so long. I was happy with how I played, but I wasn’t in such great rhythm which is natural. It’s wrong to say that you’re at 100% after just one game – that’ll take a little longer. After such a long break due to injury, you get tired quicker and you can’t play for the entire 90 minutes. The head coach and I have decided that I’ll tell him just before kick-off tomorrow if I’m ready to play (laughs). In all seriousness, I think I’ll be good to go tomorrow.
… matches without fans: I was on the bench for a couple of games at Manchester City when there weren’t any fans. It was even stranger on the bench than on the pitch – you hear every word the players say. We really miss the fans and hope that they return to the stadium soon.
… a normal day: Because I have kids, I spent a lot of time outside of training with my family. I enjoy spending time with my children; for me, that’s as good as it gets.
… conceding late goals: Conceding late goals is always frustrating, especially when you’ve played well and have everything under control.
… the best formation: It feels right playing with three at the back, everyone plays at a top level. We had some really good passages of play against Spain. First, we need to find our rhythm and then we’ll get better from game to game.