The Germany national team are preparing for EURO 2020 in Seefeld, Austria. On day three of camp, the returning Thomas Müller and Kevin Volland sat down to talk to the press. DFB.de was taking notes.
Thomas Müller on...
...what he expects of himself: I expect myself to play to my limits physically, technically and tactically. I want to bring the qualities that have made me so strong over the last year and a half. I am confident in that respect. The first sessions have been good. We have two friendlies first up which will be about getting a feel for things. There will be players together on the pitch who have only trained together for a week. Our aim is to put in some good performances. I have a certain amount of experience and I want to lead by example. I am full of motivation. It’s a unique situation for me coming back into the side. I want to be a sort of catalyst, helping the team hit the turbo boosters and getting more out of my teammates.
...Joachim Löw’s previous decision not to select him: It was definitely a blow for me personally, but my situation back then wasn’t comparable with the last year and a half. It wasn’t exactly plain sailing for me and so I understood Jogi’s decision from a sporting point of view. I got what he meant. It’s all in the past, though. Things have changed massively in the time since. I was given responsibility by Hansi Flick and you have to back that trust up with good performances. It’s been a great period for me with FC Bayern; I’ve performed well and also had time to relax. Getting away from the grind during the international breaks was good for my body, spirit, soul and family. But it’s always a special honour to be able to represent Germany at a tournament. When I see the quality in this team, I feel a desire to wake German football from its slumber. I am happy that I have the chance to do that. It’s why we’re here.
...anticipation for the Euros: I feel full of beans right now. It will be a great, euphoric time and there will be some really passionate moments for our country. The group won’t just be a stroll in the park, however.
...his preferred position: The system doesn’t matter to me too much. What’s important is that we get forward when I have the ball. I need players to combine with, but also guys who like the ball in behind. My aim is to play passes that start attacks and get us into the final third. I feel most comfortable and at my best in a more central role. We have players who like to link up, guys who prefer that pass and move style. I like a challenge and am happiest wherever the ball is.
...being vocal on the pitch: It’s not just about shouting and making noise for the sake of it. It’s about sharing information so that your teammates can react to situations as quickly and as well as possible. I am who I am. The coach knows what he’s getting with me and I won’t change. I want to win games, spur players on and have others push me too.
...changes in the team: Nothing is really that new for me. We’ve all known one another a long time, there are no real strangers. Not a lot is new. We are back together to achieve something big. It’s about delivering convincing performances, regardless of the result; that’s what we want from ourselves. I’m feeling good. We are together on a mission. It’s about the here and now and we will work as a unit over the next six weeks.
...the quality in the team: You can’t control results but I get the feeling that the team will push right to the limit. The quality around Europe is sensational; the world rankings don't lie. Us Germans have underperformed in that respect. We want to set sail and get started. In a team, every cog is important, but as an individual you are only a small part of things. Everyone does their bit. There is constant friction. It's definitely the case that anyone can address things, whether that's Mats Hummels, myself or another player. Criticism can be used positively on the pitch so it's okay to be vocal about those things. That's what I expect of myself and my teammates. I just try to take a more laid-back approach with it. Not intentionally, it's just easier for me that way. When things go our way, I go to bed happy. In the end, it's all about those positive emotions.
...Germany head coach Joachim Löw and the decision to recall him: Jogi Löw has a lot of energy. He gets right to the heart of things. That's what he expects from the team as well. We spoke plenty on the phone but there were no negotiations. The first conversation was about feeling each other out, getting an idea of where we stood: what do we both expect from each other? Are we headed in the same direction? We had a right good exchange of ideas. We both asked ourselves questions: How do we see this going? Is it a good fit? In two or three further discussions, the focus was then on the organisational side of things. Right from the start, I had the feeling that both sides wanted the same thing: maximum success. That's why we are together now.
...reintegration upon his return: I got a warm welcome, as usual. We all know each other from the Bundesliga. The togetherness is great and we are all excited to see this through. Everything has been superb so far.
...UCL final matchwinner Kai Havertz: If you’re in a Champions League final with your team then you’re already on the right path playing for a team at the top level. It was a great game of football, it was fun to watch. It gives you confidence for future games when you are able to leave your stamp on the match with a goal and a few great moments.
...Niklas Süle, who has been sidelined for a lengthy period: We get on well. He’s a great guy. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a bit of a joker and Niki rises to that challenge. He is keen and hungry. I think that he wants to use this time to show all he’s got. There will always be critics. The time after his injury certainly wasn’t easy for him. He doesn’t coast in training though, he puts in extra shifts and so his preparation has been fine.
Kevin Volland on...
...his return to the Germany squad: I was surprised when Joachim Löw’s phone call came. I was over the moon. Things are really nice; we have a cool squad and get on really well. The training sessions are good. I am happy to be back. The sessions have been really, really intense so far. That has made a good impression on me. I feel in top shape myself. I am trying to maintain that and inject a certain freshness into the squad.
...his expectations: Every player hopes for gametime. At a tournament it’s about achieving our goals together. Success comes first. I want to give everything in training and push for minutes with my style of play. It’s a great honour to play in such a tournament.
...his playing style up front: In Monaco I’ve played a lot in the half-spaces. That has been a new experience and it has helped me to develop. I am physically strong and I have the ability to break through and run at goal. My position is probably somewhere between a false 9 and a targetman. That suits me. I’m a bit of a different option with my physicality. Others might be a bit more refined than me, but as a striker the first thing you need is the ability to finish well.
...his season with AS Monaco: We have had a really good year. We have worked very, very hard. My personal fitness has improved and all of us have benefitted from our success. It’s been rewarding for me. By changing clubs you become more mature both as a player and as a man. It was the right step.
...his coach in France, Niko Kovac: We have a great relationship. He says everything as it is and I’m a big fan of that. In private he is a really pleasant, compassionate guy. So we have a really good, special relationship.