"I think i can draw important lessons from the game for the next two weeks. What works, what doesn’t work? That will certainly be revealed, also because the team physically can’t be at the most dynamic level yet," said low on thursday at the training camp of the german national soccer team in southern france. Lukas podolski feels like a racehorse before the start: "everyone is ready and heib."
Low is determined to get miroslav klose on the pitch in basel, even though the 33-year-old top striker has missed a few training sessions recently after a long injury layoff. "If miro klose’s next two days are normal, which i assume they will be, then he will play," low announced.
In addition, per mertesacker is on the stand as head of defense for the european championship team. The arsenal FC central defender hasn’t played a competitive match since february after his bone injury. Low confirmed that the 79-time national player is in better physical condition than he has been for a long time: "the rehabilitation work has done him good. But of course, now the last step has to happen."
Low takes all 19 players with him on the day trip to basel, some of whom have already celebrated their 19th birthday on thursday. Or 20. The first training session since the start of tournament preparation. "There will certainly also be some players tested. We will rotate, that will have priority," said the 26-year-old permanent selection podolski before his 96th match. Commitment for germany.
The team naturally wants to win against the swiss team, which did not qualify for the european championship. But the preparation results are not the priority for players and coach. "You have to make sacrifices," low pointed out: "we don’t take the game into account in training."
For podolski, everything depends on the first game of the tournament: "that’s where the focus is going to be. The turf has to be on fire, you have to be ready for it."For the DFB-elf, the real serious case will be on 9. June against portugal in lviv, ukraine. "I can feel the steady progress being made," the national coach emphasized in his half-time review of the not easy preparation.
However, the decisive stage is still to come: "the last third of the preparation – when the bayern players arrive – will be very important. Because there are a number of protagonists at bayern who play a very important role for us."
Podolski classifies his sixth preparation for a tournament as the toughest yet. "We’re already stepping on the gas," said the 26-year-old, rejecting any suspicion that the players had too much free time and variety in addition to work in southern france. "We’re all in. If we have a day off or an afternoon off, it’s nothing dramatic or bad."
On sunday, the visit of the formula 1 race in monaco for the autonarr podolski and his colleagues is another high point away from football. From monday, the decisive preparation phase begins with the entry of the bavarians. After all, munich will probably field half the german team for the european championships. After a phone call with bastian schweinsteiger, low is sure that the DFB vice-captain will also find new motivation for the exciting task of the european championship in time after the deep blow in the champions league final match of bayern against FC chelsea.
"Bastian missed an important penalty, of course, and that hurt him. Nevertheless, he says there are new goals," reported the DFB head coach, who also spoke personally with the other seven munich european championship players. "All bavarians are happy to come to the national team. There is a new environment, a new objective. I spurt, they are happy that it continues, that the season is not completely over," said low.
For some of podolski’s colleagues, the game in basel is above all an elimination match. Four of the 27 candidates for the european championship so far have to be eliminated by low by next tuesday. "It’s noticeable that every single one of us has a bit more quality, and that’s what we’re doing in training," reported rookie goalkeeper marc-andre ter stegen.
The likely lineup:
Wiese – howedes, mertesacker, hummels, schmelzer – khedira, gundogan – draxler, ozil, podolski – klose