The countdown is up and running – kick-off at this summer’s rescheduled UEFA EURO 2020 is less than a month away! For Germany’s sporting management, preparations are in full swing ahead of the opening match against world champions France on 15th June (21:00 CEST). Following the 9-day preparatory training camp in Seefeld, Austria from 28th to 6th June, the Germany squad will move into the Home Ground of DFB partner adidas in the ‘World of Sports’, located close to Munich, from 8th June.
The Home Ground building complex is an extension of the adidas campus and will serve as accommodation for other athletes and teams and as a conference centre after the European Championship has finished. Particular emphasis has been placed on sustainability in the construction and the day-to-day use of the Home Ground.
“It was no easy thing to find something that was a perfect fit for us,” explained DFB director Oliver Bierhoff at the digital media workshop on Tuesday. “The Home Ground is super. We have everything we need to develop a good atmosphere here. It’s important to feel comfortable and at-home during a tournament, and the facilities are top quality.” Bierhoff emphasised that the accommodation during an international competition plays a crucial role, but also commented on the role of the team: “The energy has to come from the players first and foremost. We have to create the conditions to facilitate this.”
Bierhoff on the Home Ground: “We’re very proud”
The Germany national team will be the first guests to use the Home Ground, something adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted is particularly proud of. “I’m extremely happy! The whole adidas team is delighted that Germany will be the first guests here. The campus hasn’t been used yet and we were very keen to have the national team as the first guests to make use of it.” Bierhoff added: “We’re very proud to be the first team here at the Home Ground and we hope that it will see a lot of success in the future.”
Germany captain Manuel Neuer accompanied Oliver Bierhoff to the site to see the conditions there for himself. “What he saw impressed him a great deal,” reported Rørsted. “The DFB are our most important and longest-standing partner. We believe that the camp is something unique.”
Bierhoff: “We have to reawaken our team spirit”
Oliver Bierhoff also commented on the accommodation that was used during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which faced criticism. “In quarters where the players are separated and often have to walk long distances to meet up with teammates, groups within the squad can develop and that brings difficulties.” However, the Home Ground offers the best possible conditions for developing a “positive team spirit” within the squad. “We have to reawaken our team spirit. The determination and absolute will to win will be extremely important aspects this summer.”
The DFB director was also allowed to utilise and implement his own experience in the design of the Home Ground. “We were able to shape it to reflect our spirit, which is something we’re very grateful for,” finished Bierhoff.