Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka is back with the German national team and will not let his hand injury get in the way of progress.
“I feel good. My hand is fine. Even though I’m still playing with a big splint, which can be a bit annoying, but I’ve already done it with Bayern in the Bundesliga and the Champions League, so it’s fine,” Goretzka said (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
Injury or not, Goretzka is battling for playing time in the central midfield with Joshua Kimmich and newly-minted captain İlkay Gündoğan among others.
“We have a good squad in which the competition is very fierce. But I’m convinced of my qualities and I’m certain that I can help the team.” Goretzka said. “I didn’t see (notbeing called by Hansi Flick earlier this fall) as a major setback. I’m actually pretty happy with how the season is going so far. You shouldn’t waste too much time getting angry — you have to focus on performing well and proving yourself again.”
Interestingly, Goretzka also acknowledged that it is nearing “put up or shut up” time for Germany’s vaunted “1995 generation”, which includes Goretzka, Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, and Niklas Süle among others.
“We won the Confed Cup and got a silver medal in the Olympics, but apart from that the past tournaments have been disappointing for all of us. We’re all annoyed with that and are very motivated to correct it next summer at home,” said Goretzka.
As for how the team will match up against Turkey this week, Goretzka is expecting a raucous environment at Olympiastadion Berlin on Saturday at 2:45PM EST.
“I’m looking forward to a great football game. At the home game against Galatasaray we got a little taste of what the atmosphere would be like. I hope it’ll be a great game after which people will shake each other’s hands,” Goretzka remarked.