At the 94. Oberschule in Leipzig, Oliver Bierhoff, Manuel Neuer, Timo Werner, Leroy Sané and Julian Brandt answered questions from both journalists and pupils ahead of the international game against Russia on Thursday (20:45 CET).
…the reason for the school visit: We thought about how we could get in contact with fans, kids and teens. We recently had an open training session in Berlin where they came to us so we wanted to return the favour and come to them. We’re really happy with the idea.
…changes within the team: As long as a player doesn’t retire from international duty, they are always available for a call-up. But we want to change the face of the national team. We want to give the young players a chance. We know, however, that the change will be a process. We don’t need to say anymore about what will happen - we can take it game by game.
…playing in Leipzig: There’s always a great feeling in Leipzig which I remember from the Confederations Cup in 2005. We’re always happy to come here.
…local hero Timo Werner: Of course we’re very impressed by his aggression and bite and how he’s always looking for opportunities. Not only that but also his eye for his teammates and his knack for getting goals. It’s amazing for him that he’s had such an amazing development at such a young age.
…recent form: I’m in good form and feel very comfortable. I think that I had a good game against Dortmund.
…the preparation for the upcoming internationals: We want to bring a rather negative year to an end. We want to win both games. We are optimistic that we can put in two good performances.
…the atmosphere within the team: It’s good – we didn’t have a bad game against France by any means. All that we were missing was a bit of perseverance and luck really. We want to be more effective against Russia. We will probably have a lot of possession and will want to use it to create chances. The upcoming games are important and we’re really looking forward to them. We understand that we have to bring a sense of harmony to the pitch.
…the “home game” in Leipzig: For me it’s something really special to be able to play here. This is where I became a national-tier player. The team and fans in Leipzig have played a big part in where I am today - they’ve always supported me. I want to show that I deserve to be a national player, maybe with a goal or something, but the main aim is to win the match.
…the change in the team: You can see in the recent games that we have brought in lots of young players. Joachim Löw has already made sure the young players feel included.
…the progress he’s made in his career: It was always my dream to become a professional footballer. A lot of my friends played football and we all watched it together. At first it was just a hobby but then I tried to pursue it further.
…his popularity: I haven’t changed much and I’ve only run into a few people in the street that have recognised me.
…his view on the game: It would make me very happy if we could win the game convincingly.