The Germans have arrived in Sochi and are determined not let the flaws from the match against Mexico stand in their way of booking a berth in the knockouts. The second phase of the group stage matches has already begun and Germany is hopefully all set to battle Sweden on Saturday.
As Germany gets ready for the do-or-die, one thing they most importantly need is motivation and who better could provide them with some of it than someone who has been there and done that? All-time World Cup top scorer and 2006 golden boot winner Miroslav Klose sat down for an interview with Kicker and talked about the upcoming match against Janne Anderson’s side.
As one of the most accomplished players in the history of the German national team, Klose was able to speak from his own experience. He talked about the 2002 World Cup qualifiers, in which the Germans found themselves unable to defeat Ukraine in the first leg, almost suffering the embarassment of not qualifying. But, with time, the team was able to sort their mistakes out and come back stronger, defeating the Ukrainians 4-1 in the second leg in Dortmund and thus sealing themselves a spot in the 2002 World Cup hosted by Japan and South Korea.
Der very first critical point for me was in 2001 against Ukraine. There I saw for the first time what these pressure games are. We played our best games under pressure. That’s why I’m very positive for Saturday.
Since Germany is a team that have gone through the worst just to get mightier, Klose is optimistic about Sochi, and every single team member should feel the same. As he said, the team’s bigger and best wins happened when they were playing under pressure. Jogi Löw’s assistant coach has no time for excuses:
I don’t like all the excuses: grass too high, bad referee, sun too low. I’m not the kind of guy for that. What matters is on the pitch. I have always gone out in front and tried to pull the others along with me.
Klose also gave a glimpse into the coaching staff’s tactical deliberations:
We need deep runs, and for that we need the players who can make these runs. Who don’t always go to the ball, but rather look for diagonal plays, who open up paths and holes for others with their runs.
That could be interpreted as an endorsement of Marco Reus.
Cesc Fabregas: “Play with the love of winning, not the fear of losing”
After Germany’s unprecedented defeat against Mexico, Cesc Fabregas had this little piece of advice for the Germans:
I remember the bus hotel after losing our first game in 2010. The silence was scary. Germany have to return to what they were doing before. They have talent and they have to show up. Play with the love of winning, not the fear of losing.
Bastian Schweinsteiger also sent some inspiration: