Ginter is looking forward to the Euros: "We want to do well and stay in the competition for as long as possible."
For Matthias Ginter, 2019 could hardly have gone better, and 2020 has started well too. With the Germany national team, the defender cruised to EURO 2020 qualification. With Borussia Mönchengladbach, he finished the Hinrunde in second place in the Bundesliga table. Now, he was achieved quite a special'double'; he was awarded the DFB's 'Goal of the Year' for a spectacular backheel finish against Belarus, and was today named as Germany's Player of the Year for 2019. The 25-year-old spoke with DFB.de about it all.
DFB.de: You usually score with your head. Such moments of goalscoring genius don't often come from you. Was the backheel goal premeditated or pure instinct? And did you hear a lot of take about it in the dressing room?
Matthias Ginter: Yeah, agreed, I usually score unspectacular goals. The one against Belarus was pure intuition; the thought of scoring with my heel wouldn't normally cross my mind. I was really happy because it was my first goal for Germany, even better that it came in Mönchengladbach. But I had to listen to people saying that they weren't giving me credit for it.
DFB.de: After the 2018 World Cup, you became a key player in the national team. How do you see your current role within the team, especially in the defence?
Ginter: I played a bit before the World Cup too, but not as regularly. Because I haven't been around for a while, I am constantly trying to develop as a player and as a person so that I can take on a similar role to the one I have with Gladbach. Generally, I see us on a good path ever since the changes. In defence, a lot of good players have come through, who do their jobs really well.
DFB.de: To what extent is the strong Bundesliga season with Borussia beneficial to your standing in the national team?
Ginter: As a player, of course it's nice to come to the national team and not be stuck in a relegation battle. Finding a rhythm in club football is important in order to perform with the national team.
DFB.de: Even so, hand on heart, did you ever think you'd be chosen as Germany's player of the year?
Ginter: No, never! Lots of other players performed really well last year with the national team, like Serge Gnabry, Toni Kroos or Joshua Kimmich. But of course I am really happy that the spectators and fans voted for me. It's a huge honour.
DFB.de: Where did you watch the draw for the Euros? Are you nervous about being in a group with France and Portugal?
Ginter: I watched it at home on the TV. It's a strong group with exciting matches, but with the fans behind us, we can be confident and optimistic. We still have time to improve even more. I think we should do well.
DFB.de: What goals have you set for 2020? Both with Borussia and with Germany at the Euros?
Ginter: Of course I hope we can continue the good form we showed in the Hinrunde, and that we can stay near the top of the table for as long as possible. The same goes for the national team; we may not be the tournament favourites, but we want to do well and stay in the competition for as long as possible.