Bayern Munich winger Leroy Sane has just endured a long season, but his excitement for this summer’s European Championships has not waned.
“After a short stint as a very young player at the EM 2016 and the non-nomination in 2018, it will be the first major tournament for me as an established national player. I want to live up to this role,” Sane said to Sport1. “I want to collect as many minutes of play as possible and have maximum success with the team. It wouldn’t do me any good if I scored five goals in the preliminary round and we were eliminated anyway. In the end, we’re all judged by how far we’ve come with the team - and we have a few things to change from the recent past.”
In an interesting twist, Sane might not have even had the chance to play in the tournament if not for COVID-19. Sane, of course, suffered a knee injury at Manchester City that would have made his status questionable at best.
“Absolutely! I can be happy that the tournament was postponed for a year, because after my long cruciate ligament injury I would probably not have gotten into the right form for such a big tournament in June 2020,” Sane said.
When asked how Germany will do at the tournament, Sane is confident.
“Individually, there are still hardly any teams in Europe that are stronger than us. But we have to show that together as a team on the pitch. Yes, the results at the last international matches were not satisfactory in between,” said Sane. “Ultimately, however, a tournament always stands for itself. Before the 2018 World Cup, for example, we had won all ten qualifying games, and it felt like Germany was the top favorite everywhere. Now we are a little more in the role of the challenger — that can also be an advantage.”
Germany has quite a difficult group with France, Portugal, and Hungary, but Sane knows the Germans have the mettle to compete.
“We have a preliminary group against the reigning European and world champions. It doesn’t get any more difficult,” said Sane. “Anyone who can convince in this group will automatically be a top candidate for the title — I’m sure of that. It is enough of a challenge to concentrate fully on the three fixed group games and not to have mental games about the semifinals or finals.”
If Germany can live up to its potential, Sane knows the squad can send Joachim Löw out as a winner.
“Let’s make the appropriate farewell gift with a successful tournament,” said Sane.