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Leon Goretzka: a “diverse bunch of cool dudes” in the Germany locker room

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Leon Goretzka believes the German national team has made a positive step forward in terms of improving the team atmosphere.

Photo by Marius Becker/picture alliance via Getty Images

The rebuild of the German national team can all be traced back to their poor 2018 World Cup campaign. Considered one of the clear favorites before the tournament, the German side filled with superstars crashed out of the group stage after failing to impress in a single minute of their Russian campaign.

In 2014, the German team had a great team atmosphere much due to characters such as Lukas Podolski. Four years later, it was reported that the team had become divided instead of united.

The German dressing-room divide has been labeled as one of the main reasons for their surprise exit. There were reported fractions within the 23-man squad, who during the tournament has to spend near every minute together. Germany did poorly in the first competitive games after the World Cup and Jogi Löw responded by axing three Bayern players, Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng, and Mats Hummels.

Speaking on Wednesday, Leon Goretzka suggests that the atmosphere has improved recently.

Together, we discussed certain principles and values that we want to live up to and project outwardly — and also inwardly, of course.

Excited to play after his injury, Goretzka is looking forward to Germany’s upcoming games against Belarus and Northern Ireland. The diversity of the German squad is one of its newfound strengths, according to Goretzka:

We are a varied bunch with some really cool dudes ... We joke around and play cards in the evening sometimes. So you could say the atmosphere is good. In my view, that is a basic fundamental requirement in order to be a successful.

A positive team atmosphere is crucial for a national squad to succeed when playing in tournaments. Goretzka’s words are a positive indication for the future.