Germany arrived in Seville on Monday to prepare for Tuesday’s decisive Nations League fixture against Spain (20:45 CET). National coach Joachim Löw and captain Manuel Neuer spoke about the final group match a day beforehand.
…possibly winning the group: Firstly, it’s nice that we are top of the group and our fate is in our own hands. Spain have been one of the world’s best teams for a number of years now, so it will be a big challenge. They are comfortable on the ball and can mix things up too. We had some good moments of pressure against Ukraine, which we want to see again this time against Spain.
...the squad: We will have to see how Niklas Süle trains. He was recently in quarantine and had been out injured for a long time before that. He had some slight issues after the Ukraine game but will be able to train today. Benjamin Henrichs is available – he trained on Friday and is ready to play. He’s an important player for us because he can play on both sides. Philipp Max will start again Spain, even though he’s had a heavy run of games recently. We’ll therefore need to see if he can last the full 90 minutes.
...injury problems: If you count the players that have been involved with us in recent months, then we’ve got a fair few out right now. We might need to improvise at times and someone might need to play in a position that’s not that natural to them.
…the tactics against Spain: All systems have advantages and disadvantages. We want to be able to react to their style of play. The balance between pressing and good organisation will be important. We had problems with Ukraine’s quick counter attacks.
…the aims for the Euros: As always, we want to achieve the maximum at a tournament. We know what you need during a tournament and what factors can be decisive. I don’t want to set any clear goal though.
…Manuel Neuer: I don’t need to say much about Manu – his performances speak for themselves. From his first day with us until now, he has never disappointed anybody and we’ve been treated to incredible performances. He has matured greatly as a player, a person and as a captain. He is a good team player, who gets on with everybody and has a clear opinion. He is the best goalkeeper in the world, especially when you’re talking about on the ball attributes and his presence.
…his DFB goalkeeping record: I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. It’s an honour to have played as many games as Sepp Maier has. But the most important thing is that I’m helping the team and putting in good performances.
…Leon Goretzka: Leon has made good progress, in the national side too. He did a lot of work during the coronavirus break, and when you’re winning titles as well, you’re obviously going to grow in confidence.
…the options in Germany’s midfield: We’ve got lots of world-class midfielders and we’re just pleased to have them all available. Having so many options will help us, we’ll benefit in terms of our tempo; they drive the team forward. You need these players who are the link between the defence and attack.
…coronavirus: The current times are hard for us all, because it affects all of society. Lots of work has been put into finding a way to keep football going so that we can keep doing our jobs. That means we have to stick to the rules they’ve implemented. So it might be touch-and-go with a game every now and then, but we’re professionals and we have to deal with it. It obviously wasn’t an easy situation against Ukraine, but were pleased that the game could go ahead.