Löw: “Lahm in Midfield Against Portugal”

Germany are now just four days away from their World Cup opener against Portugal. The team has been preparing at their training camp on the Brazilian coast this week with the overall mood and atmosphere within the squad improving on a daily basis.

Ahead of the Portugal game and the tournament, coach Joachim Löw addressed the press on matters of the squad, tactics against Portugal, the opposition in Brazil and the challenges they’ll be facing this summer.

On Philipp Lahm’s role: “He played in midfield in our training games and that is also what’s going to happen on Monday.”

The situation in training camp: “We are very satisfied. I can confidently say that we’ve made all the right decisions and our preparation has been exemplary. The proximity to the training field is great and we’re not letting anything get in the way. The players are all in a very good place mentally. So far everyone seems to be happy and no one has requested to change housing.”

On the absence of the injured Marco Reus: “We send our greetings to everyone back home, most of all to Marco Reus. Marco, the team misses you. We wish you all the best and the team will be play for you.”

On the opener against Portugal: “We trained at 13:00 yesterday, the same time as our kickoff on Monday.  We wanted to simulate similar conditions. Every day we’re going to be studying them more. Portugal are a team that is right behind us in the rankings. And regardless of whether Ronaldo plays or not, their style will be the same. We will do everything to make our supporters happy.”

The system on Monday: “There will be no surprises. We will have four players at the back defending the goal, three in the middle and a striker up top. I don’t make much of the “false 9″ stuff. We have offensive players like Klose, Müller, Schürrle, Götze and Özil. We have strikers and always showed that we can score goals.”

On the situation of the squad rotation: “You have to make decisions not only based on the opponent but also on the climates and conditions around kickoff. We don’t necessarily have a set starting eleven but a group of 23 squad players. Of course eleven will start but the players that get brought on are also meant to make the difference. It’s more like a starting-14 and it’s not a punishment when someone isn’t playing from the start.”

On the back line: “We don’t necessarily need a high back line at such a tournament like in the qualifying games where teams against us often stayed deep. All center-backs have the responsibility to close the space in the back and that was sometimes an issue for us in qualifying.”

On the climate in Brazil and adjusting to it: “We have gotten more and more used to it in the last couple of days. The players were able to experience what it means to play in conditions like this. For many of them it is new to train at 13:00 but we want to be able to adjust and acclimatize. I don’t think anyone will come off the field with a dry shirt. But after three or four days you get used to this. It was absolutely the right decision to prepare here to be able to condition ourselves. If we prepared in Sao Paolo where it is cooler then the transition to games would have been more difficult.”

On Spain: “Lately there have been voices that said Spain’s time is over but I don’t share that sentiment. They’ve proven otherwise at club level. These players are still all quality and I believe they are all still very hungry to succeed.” 

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Cristian Nyari

Cristian is a football writer and analyst living in New York City, fascinated with the history and study of the beautiful game and all it entails. Follow Cristian on twitter @Cnyari

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