On the last day of the training camp in South Tyrol, eyes are firmly fixed upon the World Cup dress rehearsal against Saudi Arabia on Friday (19:30 CEST) in Leverkusen. Team manager Oliver Bierhoff, Jonas Hector and Miroslav Klose speak to DFB.de about their upcoming opponent and draw up a summary of the last two weeks of training.
... the line-up for the final friendly: Timo Werner will play without a doubt. We have already agreed upon that. We will have a discussion about Jerome Boateng’s fitness this evening. The doctors and physios will be there too and then we will make a final decision.
... the omission of Leroy Sané: Of course I was partly responsible for that. We made the decision quickly. I thought the way he reacted was admirable. He knows that he must draw his own conclusions from the omission. I’m convinced he’ll learn from it. He is incredibly talented and brings an incredible amount of pace to the game. However, with Germany, he can’t sprint off like he does in the Premier League. It was a decision made in favour of Julian Brandt, not against Leroy.
… the training camp: We have trained very well here. Now we need to cultivate a positive team spirit, which the established players will look to foster. We had such an atmosphere in 2014 in Campo Bahia, which we’ll try and emulate here.
… the two weeks in Eppan: It’s all a bit depressing now we have to leave. We’ve had a great time. Thanks to all the people here for their warm hospitality. We’ve noticed that the team has felt very comfortable. But it’s been a lengthy stay and everyone's now ready to kick on. The game against Austria was very useful for us, defeat aside. I've noticed good friendships, a good atmosphere and a good sense of togetherness in the team. Everyone’s well aware that the hard work begins now.
… Mesut Özil’s minor injury: He has a bruised knee. We don’t want to take any unnecessary risks, so he’s been doing some sprints today. We still have a bit of time before the World Cup, so there’s no drama.
… the expectations for the Saudi Arabia game: There are some tactical and strategic guidelines that the coach wants to see implemented. Naturally, basic things like concentration and decision-making are a given, but also specific moves that have been rehearsed in training. We want to win the match and cap-off the training camp in style. The result is not the priority, however.
… his first World Cup: Every boy dreams of playing for his national team in a big tournament. I’ve already been a part of the European Championship, but a World Cup is something ever bigger. I can’t wait to get there.
… his aims for the Saudi Arabia match: We want to give a good performance and improve on the things that didn’t go well last Sunday. Everyone on the pitch wants to prove themselves one last time. That’s all the incentive I need to perform well.