Joachim Loew, Germany’s national team coach, assured during an interview with the Polish Press Agency that the friendly match with Poland on 6 September in Gdansk was of great importance for him. On Friday his team, as the first one from eliminations, may secure promotion to the Euro 2012.
For Polish fans and players the match with the German team is very important due to, among others, the history and proximity of Germany and the fact that Poland has never won with the team. Does the German team also have reasons to treat this competition in a particular way?
Joachim Loew: To tell you the truth, I’m not a great statistician and I did not even know that Poland had never won with the German national team. The match in Gdansk is very important for us because we will meet with one of the hosts of the Euro 2012, and this is always interesting. Moreover, I think about our match in the world championships in 2006. Then Oliver Neuville, in the last seconds of the match, scored the decisive goal, thus we secured a place among the sixteen best teams.
Perhaps, as early as on Friday, the German team will secure for them participation in the next year’s European championships. Will this affect the approach to the game and the makeup of the team that will play on Tuesday in Gdansk?
– Generally I use friendly matches to perform tactical and personnel experiments. However, I would clearly like to point out that there is no place for lack of respect for opposition. European Championship Preliminary Matches give only limited possibilities of testing. However, if, after Austria, we will be promoted to the European Championships, also in subsequent qualifying matches with Turkey and Belgium I would like to try new arrangements.
The representatives of the German federation have already visited training centers in Pomerania several times. Are you determined to live in this area during the Euro 2012? Is the base in Poland taken into account even if the team will be in the group that will play in Ukraine?
– At this time no decision has been taken on the location of accommodation during the European championships. We conduct talks and we will immediately let you know when the contracts are signed. We want to live in Poland, even if it is necessary to play matches in Ukraine. We can not wait until the time of draw in Kiev at the beginning of December.
Poland is currently in the same situation in which the German team (in which you were the assistant of Juergen Klinsmann) was before the World Cup in 2006. Does preparation of the team for the great event only through friendly matches cause additional difficulties?
– It is, of course, a good thing to participate in the competition. Then there is pressure on the team and each player must be firmly involved in the game. But friendly matches give also the opportunity to prepare for the tournament. From each of them we can draw useful conclusions.
A large contribution to the recent successes of the German team had Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski. You wanted them even when they were reserve players in the club. What is their position in the team now? Can you imagine a team without them?
Since many years, Miro Klose and Lukas Podolski have been important for our team. They have never let me down. It is no coincidence that since 2002 Miro, in three World Cup tournaments, scored fourteen goals and it was only Ronaldo who scored one more goal. In 110 interstate matches he recorded significant achievements and he is one of the best players in German football.
The same can be said about Lukas Podolski who played with the team already 90 interstate matches and scored 42 goals when he was 26. I believe that the two will play an important role in our team during the Euro 2012 and I am happy that the championships will be held in the country of their birth.
The match for Poland was chosen by Sebastian Boenisch and Eugen Polanski. How did you react on their choice? Did they talk with you before making the decision?
– No, they both played a lot of matches in the U21 national team. Polanski was even the captain of the team. Unfortunately, they are not in the expanded circle of the first team players and, therefore, they decided to put on Polish shirts. It was their decision, which we accepted.
Nine Polish representatives play in Bundesliga. Who of them is most valued by you? Who has the best brand in Germany?
I do not want to assess it. I’ll just say that the greatest attention is naturally paid to Robert Lewandowski, Łukasz Piszczuk and Jakub Błaszczykowski, who won the title of German championships in the match with Borussia Dortmund.
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