Germany go into their final group game against Hungary on Wednesday (21:00 CEST) with three points on the board. The team are in high spirits having followed up their opening 1-0 defeat to France with a 4-2 win over Portugal, and Kevin Trapp is no exception, despite only being a back-up goalkeeper. DFB.de spoke to the 30-year-old about the tournament so far.
DFB.de: Kevin, what effect did the win over Portugal have on the mood in the camp?
Kevin Trapp: We were of course delighted to turn the game around against Portugal and get a fully deserved win. We can’t rest on our laurels though. We haven’t achieved anything yet and have to get ready for Hungary. We have done a lot of recovery work so that we’re full of energy again on Wednesday night. The mood in the team has been great since the beginning. We have a lot of fun together, but are still very focused when it comes to getting your head down. We’re feeling good.
DFB.de: How do you explain the team’s improvement between the first two group games?
Trapp: It was always clear that we were in a brutally tough group, coming up against World Cup winners France in the very first game and then European champions Portugal straight after. We can’t afford to underestimate Hungary though. You can never be 100 percent sure of where you’re at in the first group game. There’s no room for error when you come up against the world champions, either. Nevertheless, I thought we were the better side. France defended very deep and looked for counterattacking opportunities. That’s their style. The game against Portugal was almost an all-or-nothing match. We were really looking forward to the game. We knew that we had the quality to win but also knew what was at stake.
DFB.de: That makes it all the more remarkable how well you dealt with the early setback…
Trapp: Their goal was of course frustrating. I never got the feeling that we looked nervous though. Quite the opposite. We dominated the game from the very first minute, we continued to play in the same way after their goal, and we ended up winning 4-2. I think the last time Portugal conceded four goals was in our group game against them at the 2014 World Cup.
DFB.de: That’s correct.
Trapp: I think we can be very proud of our performance then. We can’t get ahead of ourselves though. We want to take the next step now against Hungary. We will have to go into that game with the same mindset as we had against France and Portugal, otherwise it could become uncomfortable for us.
DFB.de: How big is the risk of underestimating Hungary as the group’s underdog?
Trapp: Of course, France and Portugal are bigger names, but we saw Hungary’s first two matches and know that they have a lot of quality too.
DFB.de: Hungary were 1-0 up against France and ended up drawing 1-1…
Trapp: We know that we’ll have to push ourselves to our limits if we want to win. Hungary are dangerous; they work well as a team and can hurt us. I’m confident that we will go into the game with the right attitude though. We’re very confident that we can get the three points, but we will approach it with the right amount of respect too.
DFB.de: You and your teammates have been watching a lot of the other games at the EUROs. Is there a favourite for you?
Trapp: Italy have been very commanding so far, while Spain have been struggling a bit. Turkey were considered one of the dark horses for the tournament, but they’ve gone out with no points. It shows you that you can’t afford to underestimate anyone at this tournament. There are a lot of good teams. If we play like we did against Portugal, we will be very difficult to beat.
DFB.de: Has there been a goalkeeper who has stood out for you?
Trapp: I train with Manuel Neuer every day, so I don’t really need to look at other goalkeepers (laughs). However, Gianluigi Donnarumma is a fantastic keeper. He is only 22 years old and has already played more than 200 games for AC Milan in Serie A. He’s one of the goalkeepers I enjoy watching.
DFB.de: You’re used to standing between the sticks week in, week out for Eintracht Frankfurt, but you have to take on the role of back-up with the national team. What influence does that have on your preparation?
Trapp: It doesn’t make a difference. I always train as if I’m going to play. After all, you can never know what will happen. I am always ready if I’m needed. It’s part of my nature to always give 100 percent – anything else wouldn’t be me.
DFB.de: The whole team have been shielded from the outside world during the EUROs to reduce the risk of infection. How are you spending your time when you’re not on the training pitch?
Trapp: It’s important to switch off now and again in between tough training sessions and preparation for the next game. There are lots of things to do here. We sit together and watch some of the other EUROs matches and we sometimes play darts or cards, but the most important thing is that we feel fresh and well rested for the next game.
DFB.de: So you’re not feeling homesick?
Trapp: No. We’re all very keen to stay here for another couple of weeks. We get on really well so it wouldn’t be a problem at all sticking together until the final. That’s our main ambition.###more###