Head coach Joachim Löw was full of praise for his players after Germany’s 4-2 win over Portugal before looking ahead to the upcoming task in the final group game against Hungary on Wednesday (21:00 CEST).
Question: Joachim Löw, how would you summarise the 4-2 win against Portugal?
Joachim Löw: It was a very strong game for us against a technically good Portuguese side who are strong on the counterattack. We showed a lot of morale after going behind. We showed very good spirit and never lost track, and we kept our composure. We also kept the momentum high and created a lot of good chances while playing at a very good tempo. We overwhelmed the Portuguese defence several times.
Question: You came flying out of the blocks. Was that part of the plan or did it just come from the players?
Löw: We wanted the team to come out with a completely different kind of power in attack. They did that very well, playing in the right spaces and not losing tempo up front. The plan was to show Portugal that we weren't going to be pushovers.
Question: How pleased are you with the wingbacks Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens?
Löw: We wanted to be more dangerous, especially from the flanks. We knew about Portugal's weaknesses in defence. They both intentionally played higher up the pitch than they did against France, so we often got in behind the defence and were dangerous. Both players did really well - in build up to the goals, and also Robin in finishing. You know that he's good in that area.
Question: What is Gosens like as a person?
Löw: The whole team really appreciates him as a person because he's very, open and very active in communication. He has a very good relationship with all the players, is clear-headed and straightforward - his character is like his style of play: clear and no-nonsense. He always gives his all. The way he plays, full of commitment, he also fights for the things that are important to him. He has established himself relatively quickly and has found his feet very well in the team.
Question: Could this victory be a catalyst for the rest of the tournament?
Löw: I don't know. Of course, a win like this gives you a boost, but we never doubted ourselves. We knew we could do some things better. The next game could be even more difficult, because Hungary sit deeper and defend with eight or nine men. We have to take it step by step. There are plenty of strong sides in this tournament. But the teams who have everything running perfectly in the first two games are rarely the ones who end up winning the tournament.
Question: The players caught up with families and friends after the victory. Do you ever get the chance to do that?
Löw: Of course, I have contact with my friends and family, but it's kept to a minimum. Obviously, you exchange messages, but then you move on again. You don't often have many days when you completely switch off. We play Hungary soon, so there's not much time to think about other things.
Question: Some players came off with knocks. Could more players be unavailable?
Löw: Mats Hummels felt something in the patella tendon again, with Robin Gosens it was the adductor and Ilkay Gündogan took a knock to his calf. We didn't want to take any risks. If it's a muscular problem, there’s always a scare. However, I don't think it's anything dramatic. If everything goes well, we'll be fine next week.