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FOOTBALL

World Cup games for die Mannschaft are now finals, says captain Neuer

Germany captain Manuel Neuer said on Tuesday that his side's two remaining World Cup group games are now effectively finals in the team camp as the holders fight to stay in the tournament.

World Cup games for die Mannschaft are now finals, says captain Neuer
Manuel Neuer speaking at a press conference in Russia on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

The World Cup holders are under intense pressure ahead of Saturday's second Group F game against Sweden in Sochi and the South Korea match next Wednesday in Kazan after suffering a shock 1-0 defeat to Mexico on Sunday.

“From now on, we only have finals. The players have to show what they can do, but I am convinced that we can do it,” Neuer said.

Pre-World Cup talk from the German camp was about becoming the first team since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend the title.

Now the worry is whether Joachim Löw's team can even reach the last 16.

“Complaining about what happened doesn't change anything, we all know that,” said Neuer.

“We have to try to put this behind us as quickly as possible.”

Neuer revealed that head coach Löw spoke at length during an emergency team meeting after the poor display in Moscow and that the players did not hold back in giving their opinion.

'We didn't mince words'

“There was a length team meeting,” said Neuer.

“We didn't mince words, because we want to make things better against Sweden.

“We talked a lot, such meetings are good, it's a liberating feeling and the outlines came from the coach.

“We are our harshest critics.

“It was a wake-up call and there has never been such strong communication within the team as after the game against Mexico.

READ ALSO: Mexico stun Germany in die Mannschaft's first World Cup game

“We won't need a second wake-up call.

“We want to reach the knock-out stages and the team believes that we can do it.”

Die Mannschaft was slammed by the German media for a dreadful first-half performance when their defence was brutally ripped apart by Mexico's counter attacks.

Neuer says all the stops will be pulled out against Sweden.

“Every player must ask himself, 'am I ready to give everything?”, said Germany's shot-stopper.

“In terms of the performance, I don't think we need to change players.”

Despite the captain's insistence that the current team can pull it off, former internationals and pundits in Germany are demanding that Löw drops Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira after both had woeful displays against Mexico.

Neuer revealed that the players took their frustrations out in Monday's closed training session.

“It went off, the players who weren't involved on Sunday really threw themselves into it,” he said.

Neuer revealed that even before Löw called for crisis talks, the players were already sorting out issues amongst themselves.

“Since no one shirks responsibility, we had already talked a lot after the game, on the bus and at every meal,” he said.

SEE ALSO: World Cup 2018 – A casual fan's guide to the German team

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FOOTBALL

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.

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