The wait is almost over: Die Mannschaft take begin their Confederations Cup campaign in Russia on Monday (17:00 CEST). Joachim Löw discusses tactics and their upcoming opponents, whilst Bernd Leno expresses his gratitude at being able to play for his country.
... THEIR TOURNAMENT OPENER: We’re looking forward to getting started tomorrow. We’ve been really well looked after and have been welcomed in a very friendly manner. Die Mannschaft can’t wait to get going. I got the impression that the players were really focussed in our last training session.
... THE TACTICS AGAINST AUSTRALIA: We have to remain compact defensively. Australia are potent in attack, and we’ll probably have a lot of possession tomorrow which means that there’ll be space behind us that could be exploited.
... BERND LENO: We’ve got complete confidence in Bernd Leno. His last performance against Italy was fantastic.
... WHAT THE CONFED CUP MEANS TO THEM: The Confederations Cup is a gift that helps us achieve our goal for next year. We can improve the players we have with this tournament. I can experiment under competitive conditions, and it’s conceivable that we’ll implement different tactics throughout the course of the tournament.
... THE ANTICIPATION BEFORE THE GAME: It’s always special to be playing for Germany. Every game is a great honour for me. The anticipation is as great as it is for a Champions League game.
... HIS CALL UP: I’m very, very proud that the manager has expressed his confidence in me. I want to thank him by putting in a good performance and hopefully keeping a clean-sheet.
... THE OPENER AGAINST AUSTRALIA:Australia have a quick and dynamic team. They’ll probably allow to us have the ball and try to hit us on the counter.
... HIS RUSSIAN: I knew some basic Russian before, but I’ve since forgotten it, although I can still say things like “Hello” and “Thank you”.