Germany coach Löw: ‘The Euro is a marathon’

Joachim Löw, the coach of the German national football team, discusses the team’s first match on Sunday against Poland and looks forward to the rest of the Euro 2008 tournament.

Germany coach Löw: 'The Euro is a marathon'
Photo: DPA

How content are you – aside from getting three points – with your team’s performance?

Löw: Naturally we’re content with the first win. As coach you always ask yourself right up to the kickoff of such a tournament where the team is after a preparatory phase without serious competition. The team played very well. We were a unit that was focused on winning the match. It was a demonstration of will and concentration.

How do rate the performance of Lukas Podolski? And is his move to the leftwing simply an alternative or now a permanent solution?

Löw: The whole team – not just Lukas Podolski – put in a good performance. Lukas Podolski scored both goals. When he finishes, when he’s constantly in motion, when he comes from the deep into the box he’s extremely dangerous. I think he can handle both positions. The 1-0 was played out nicely by Mario Gomez and Miro Klose, who in the situtation right before passed very well to Gomez. The combinations and the quality of play were excellent overall.

How was the first tournament match for you personally as head coach?

Löw: It was normal. We already had a few qualification matches that were also very important. It was a nice experience for me to have the sole responsibility while sitting on the bench. As coach, you always get wired during a match. You experience all the emotions. This match – before the 2-0 happened – was on the edge. The opponent risks everything when he’s behind. It’s normal that dangerous situations develop out of that.

How was the mood in the locker room?

Löw: The mood was good, the mood was relaxed. The team is under a lot of pressure ahead of a tournament.

You substituted for Clemens Fritz shortly after the half. Was he injured, was he tired or what was the reason?

Löw: He wasn’t injured. But he played at a fast pace for 50 minutes and had to cover a lot of ground. All four players on the wings, Jansen, Podolski, Lahm and Fritz covered enormous ground and created a lot of pressure. I wanted to put in a fresh player and we had an option to do so with Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Why is Lukas Podolski so prominent in the national team when he failed to have a great season at Bayern Munich?

Löw: Lukas performed well for Bayern Munich when he played. We made the most of the three weeks of preparations. Lukas had no problem with the intensive training. He has an unbelievable physical potential, speed and good endurance. He was incredibly mobile and active during training. He’s always performed well for the national team. And over the past two years and during the World Cup he was actually always a top performer for us.

Before the tournament’s start there was criticism for the team’s defensive behaviour. What’s your take?

Löw: The defence took care of business over long periods of time. All four defenders played with vigilance and the central defenders rarely made coordination mistakes. The team also played well in the midfield over long periods. And Jens Lehmann was actually secure with many balls and performed well.

Where do you see more potential to improve?

Löw: Now the tournament has started and it’s important that we’ve won a match. But it was just the beginning and the Euro is a marathon. There’s still a lot of work to be done and improvements to be made.

Documented by Klaus Bergmann, dpa.


British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.