The magnitude of Germany’s match against Portugal at the European Championships has not been lost on Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich.
“We really want to win the game. We have the quality for it. Each of us knows what is at stake tomorrow and what tomorrow will be about,” Kimmich said as captured by the DFB website. “We knew we had to defend well against France. It will be similar against Portugal. So we have to find the right balance between a stable performance and risk ahead and then we play full on victory as always. In preparation, we mainly concentrated on our own game. We have to do a lot better against Portugal. We have to get behind the last lines of the Portuguese and then it will be our job to show against Portugal that they have weaknesses.”
One of the big talking points surrounding Germany’s squad — and Kimmich — has been Joachim Löw’s use of a back-three/back-five vs. a back-four. Kimmich thinks the team has had enough time to adjust to the tactics and should feel comfortable operating in any set-up.
“In principle, a line of four and a line of five have certain automatisms that are the same, but also automatisms that differ. We have now also trained these for two and a half weeks,” said Kimmich. “For me it is a completely different position whether I play in the back four as a right-back and always have a man in front of me or if I’m higher in the back five and stand on the line of the last opponent. The room layout is very different, including when and who you attack.”
Obviously, Kimmich would like to return to the central midfield, but will continue to do what is best for the squad.
“In the center you always have the opportunity to intervene, you are part of the game at all times and you have shorter distances to each individual player. On the right side you are more dependent on your fellow players and sometimes have the feeling that the game is passing you a little,” Kimmich said. “If we can get the outside players into the game, we of course also need opportunities to continue. The three strikers have to be in a good position at the front, occupy the pit properly and the flanks have to arrive. There are always talks with the coach, but in the end the coach decides and sets up the way he feels that the team is as successful as possible.”