"You are able to learn a lot from training at that level": Eggestein (r.) training with the senior team.
Ahead of the European Championship in Italy and San Marino, Germany’s U21’s have been at training camp in Natz (South Tyrol) since Sunday. Maximilian Eggestein sat down for an interview with DFB.de to speak about his first impressions from training camp, his Die Mannschaft experience, and the team’s goals for the Euros.
DFB.de: Maximilian Eggestein, you arrived to training camp with the U21’s on Sunday and got started with training straight away. What are your first impressions of the hotel and the training grounds in Natz?
Maximilian Eggestein: The conditions are excellent. We will be able to remain highly focused and be laid-back but also work hard as we go about our preparations for the Euros. Having a hotel right by the sea is great to recover after training and the grounds are also in great condition. We also received a warm welcome from the people here and those who came to watch us during training.
DFB.de: You’re coming out of a tiring season, having played in every Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal match for Werder Bremen this past season. Do you have enough energy left in the tank for the U21 Euros?
Eggestein: Of course. I had a few days free after the season ended. After a certain time, you get the urge to move and to play again. Especially when we’re talking about the Euros, where you can compete against the best teams in the world.
DFB.de: This past season, you set a record after covering a total distance of 409 kilometres. Even in pre-season you were already among the strongest runners in the Bundesliga.
Eggestein: That’s just part of my game. I have a certain level of trust in my body and I know that I can do those distances. The record obviously sounds good but I wasn’t trying to break any records at the start of the season. One of my biggest strengths is being able to go the distance for my team.
DFB.de: What will it be important to focus on during the preparations for the U21 Euros?
Eggestein: Aside from the physical training, it’s important that we get to know each other better as a team. We want to take the next step together and get more familiar with each other and the way we play. The goal for the start of the Euros is that we know each other inside and out and that we know exactly what our plan is and what makes the others tick.
DFB.de: You weren’t in the squad for the previous U21 matches in March, but instead Joachim Löw called you up to the senior team for the first time. What lessons did you take with you from that experience?
Eggestein: I was able to learn a lot from my time with the senior squad, even if I wasn’t able to make an appearance for them. It was really great to get to know the players and the coaches and to see how the team operates—I’m certainly hoping that it wasn’t my only invitation to join them. You are able to learn a lot from training at that level. You’re able to pick up solutions for various game situations by training with a player like Toni Kroos, who has played world-class football for many years.
DFB.de: Has your role in the U21 team changed at all since getting called up?
Eggestein: I don’t think so. I already had the responsibility of taking a leading role within the U21’s, even before being called up. First and foremost, it’s about effort. If we all give our best and bring the strengths we have both on and off the pitch to the team, then we have a really good chance of competing for the title.