After a 3-0 win against Iceland on Thursday night, Germany’s qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar continues this Sunday at 20:45 CET against Romania. Head coach Joachim Löw and Germany international Joshua Kimmich spoke at a press conference in Bucharest ahead of the match. DFB.de have collated the most important quotes.
… the 'Human Rights' initiative: We know that our players support these values, so I thought it was a really, really good initiative. Our players are not doing this for marketing reasons either, as several members of the press would have you believe. This is their own initiative – they feel strongly about promoting these values.
… the win against Iceland: In the second half we could have played a lot better in certain areas. Looking ahead to our EURO opponents, we need more stability. Given the short amount of time that was available to us, we did a lot of things really well, but I’m not entirely satisfied yet.
… personnel: Niklas Süle having to leave the squad with an injury is less than ideal for us. Leon Goretzka has some calf problems so we’ll have to see how he is tomorrow. Same goes for Leroy Sané’s hamstring, but that looks a little more promising. A decision will not be made until tomorrow in any case.
… Romania: They’re a very different kind of team than Iceland. Iceland are a defensive team while Romania like to attack a lot more – they’ve scored twelve goals in their last four games. Our defence will face a very different kind of challenge on Sunday. Romania have a lot of technically very gifted players who want the ball at their feet. I was very impressed with Romania’s holding midfield. Up front they’re very dangerous and have great attacking quality.
… Toni Kroos’s absence: I wasn’t thrilled about Toni Kroos having to leave, but we’ve shown at recent successful tournaments that strength in depth is our greatest asset. For example, at the 2014 World Cup with Götze or Schürrle. This strength in depth saw our centre-mids put in a good performance against Iceland without Kroos in the team.
… Manuel Neuer: We all sang Happy Birthday to him this morning – he’s 35 today. He’s had an unbelievable career. At the moment he looks to be at peak fitness with no injury problems. Goalkeepers also generally have more years as a pro in them than outfield players, so I think he still has several years ahead of him with the national team.
… Bayern players in the national team: The Bayern lads all have a connection on the pitch, which really helps us given all the changes to our starting XI in recent years. At the end of the day though it is the players’ individual quality that matters – which team they play for is not a criterium for me when it comes to team selection.
… Germany’s first 2022 World Cup qualifier: The first ten minutes weren’t bad at all. Unfortunately we weren’t able to properly build on that, but on the whole it was a decent performance. Tomorrow we want another one.
… his position in the team: Personally I feel most comfortable in midfield, because that’s where I feel like I can do most for the team. However, I have already shown that I can help the team as a right-back as well. In the end it is the coach’s decision where I play.
… the team’s setup: Our formation always depends on the opponent. Whether it’s a back three or a back four – we’re pretty flexible in that regard, but this too is the coach’s call: Which players he selects and how he things we can be successful.
… tomorrow’s game: Every game is crucial. We started well against Iceland. We’re expecting Romania to be a little better on the ball – more technical. So we need to be on alert at all times.
… the World Cup in Qatar: It’s ten years too late for a boycott in my opinion – the hosting rights weren’t granted this year. However, as footballers, we should work together and look for opportunities to speak out against injustices.