Jonas Hofmann was introduced in the 59th minute in place of Julian Draxler in the game against Turkey. It was a special moment for the midfielder from Borussia Mönchengladbach – his Germany debut was a dream fulfilled. The fact that the game finished 3-3 is just a further incentive to beat Ukraine on Saturday (20:45 CEST). In our interview, Jonas Hofmann discusses his call-up, what he took from the Turkey game and the Gladbach contingent in the Germany squad.
DFB.de: Jonas, you made your debut for Germany against Turkey. Is the feeling the next day more of pride or disappointment about the late equaliser?
Jonas Hofmann: From the team’s point of view we’re clearly disappointed that we gave away the lead so late. It’s always hard to take when you concede a late equaliser – even more so because a similar thing happened against Spain. We’ll learn from it and we have the chance to do things better on Saturday. Nonetheless, it was a great moment on a personal note to make my debut for the national side. At the age of 28, you can say ‘better late than never!’ (laughs)
DFB.de: You made your last international appearance for the U21s on 14th October 2014 against Ukraine. Did you think at that time that you might fulfil your dream of playing for the senior side?
Hofmann: I’m really ambitious and I try to get the best out of myself. I had a little hope that I might achieve it someday if I kept performing well, but it wasn’t that I was constantly standing by the phone nervously before every international break. On the other hand, I can appreciate the level of the achievement. I’ve had one or two injuries in the last few years and I’ve often had to fight my way back into the team. I’m in good form now and I’m putting in good performances for my club; all I’m trying to do is keep that up week by week. In this respect, it’s really nice that the hard work has been worth it and I got the call from Jogi Löw.
DFB.de: The match against Turkey was very eventful, particularly in the second half. Germany head coach Joachim Löw spoke about how the team lost control a couple of times. How do you see a game through?
Hofmann: You can obviously sit behind the ball and send long balls forward, but that’s not the type of football we stand for. We want to be dominant and not hand control of the game over to the opposition. But we clearly need to think about how we can hang onto a lead and get over the finish line, even if it’s sometimes unconventional. The best way to do it is always to kill the game off and make it 4-2. That plan fits how we’d like to approach the game.
DFB.de: What are you hoping for from the trip to Ukraine?
Hofmann: We really want to win the game. We know what we need to do. It’s also the case that winning is more fun and allows you to relax and play your natural game. I think the mood in camp is positive and motivated, and all the boys are ambitious, but it’s logical that it would help us if we got some reward for our efforts.
DFB.de: You can see that the Gladbach contingent is growing in the national squad. You and Florian Neuhaus have joined Matthias Ginter.
Hofmann: Hopefully that continues. The call-up isn’t a signal to sit back, but an even greater incentive to give everything in the future to stay in the team in my opinion. I’m all for more Foals getting brought into the national squad. But we shouldn’t forget that Germany has lots of players who have the potential to help the national side.
DFB.de: What aims do you have at club level for the 2020/21 season?
Hofmann: The Bundesliga is the day job. That’s where we need to play well and be successful. That also increases the chance of us qualifying again for international competitions. We’re coming up against Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League this season – I’m really looking forward to it. It will be really special playing against those sides. The whole club has developed so much, and we haven’t lost a single key player in this difficult transfer window. My aim is to continue my development with Borussia Mönchengladbach and to keep knocking on the door of the national side. I’m hungry for success.