Germany were knocked out in the round of 16 of the UEFA EURO 2020 after a 2-0 defeat to England. It was the final match of head coach Joachim Löw’s career with the team, as Hansi Flick is set to take over after the tournament. Following a disappointing night in London, Löw spoke about his feelings after his final game.
Question: Joachim Löw, what are you feeling after your final game as head coach of Germany?
Joachim Löw: It’s obvious that we are all very disappointed. We invested a lot of hard work over the last weeks, the team did well and there was a strong spirit that developed. We weren’t able to follow through on the pitch. Our two biggest chances to score came through Timo Werner and Thomas Müller, and we weren’t able to use either of those. When I entered the dressing room, I was very disappointed that we weren’t able to get back into it.
Question: Are you disappointed with how the team played following the 2-0 defeat to England?
Löw: The team gave it everything. What was missing at times was composure, aggressiveness, experience. All these still need time to develop in order for the team to mature. There were moments in the game when we weren’t consistent enough, such as when defending set pieces or finishing our chances. The quality is there, as is the mentality and right mindset.
Question: Will Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka become key figures in the next years under Hansi Flick?
Löw: We have several younger players who will undergo tremendous development over the next two, three years. They will be at the peak of their careers during the 2024 EUROs in Germany. Kimmich and Goretzka are already leaders, because they set an example with their immense strength of will. They are capable of leading the team and of supporting them. But, of course there will also be changes to the team.
Question: What’s next for you?
Löw: I haven’t made any plans yet. After 15 years in charge, it will be good for me to hand over control. The break will do me good, as I’ve been part of the DFB for so long, which is why you don’t look for something new immediately after. I will also have to deal with the disappointment and emptiness. You don’t move past a tournament like this in just a couple of days, so it will take time. Then you’ll have the energy for new challenges. I’ve never said that I’ll retire. There will definitely be new opportunities that will interest me.
Question: Looking back, would it have been better for you to step down in 2018?
Löw: I don’t know. The decision back then was based on ‘okay, we will continue on and there are new goals that have been set.’ Looking back on it now is hard. I viewed it as a huge challenge, but even despite the difficulties I was able to learn a lot over the last two, three years.
Question: What will you remember from this time?
Löw: There were a lot of positive moments over these 15 years. We underwent continuous improvement, won the World Cup in 2014 and the Confederations Cup in 2017 with a young team. Working together with certain players or members of the backroom staff for so long meant that we have formed some strong bonds. There were some unforgettable moments. Things haven’t been easy for us since 2018 and there were many tough periods, but I’ve gotten to know people that are a very important part of my life now. These are experiences that I am glad to have. I want to say thank you to all these people and to the players, who gave it everything.