After what seemed like 10 dramatic days scripted for a TV drama rather than a World Cup training camp, Germany finish their stay at their Südtirol retreat on a positive note.
Aside from Manuel Neuer, every player partook in some kind of training. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira were finally able to join their teammates in training while Philipp Lahm was back to training with the ball. Manuel Neuer is still being looked after with his shoulder injury but the prognosis is mostly positive.
The team was also triumphant in their second test match against the U20s on Thursday, winning 8-0 with Thomas Müller scoring five, and Mertesacker, Klose and Reus each getting one.
Germany will leave the camp on Saturday to fly to Düsseldorf where they will set up for their friendly against Cameroon on Sunday. Löw will use the friendly to make his final decision on his 23-player roster. Three players will have to be cut and the Cameroon friendly will provide the guys on the fringes with their last chance to impress.
Löw summed up training camp in Friday morning’s press conference and looked ahead to the rest of their preparations including the friendly against Cameroon on Sunday in Mönchengladbach:
On the injured players: “I see clear progress with the injured players. Bastian Schweinsteiger resumed training with the team and Sami Khedira as well. Philipp Lahm has done intensive training with the ball and only has small issues to work on and is close to being able to train with the team again. With Manuel Neuer we’re still going to have to wait until next week.”
The visit of the U20 team: “It was a true highlight to have the U20 team here. The games against them went very well. It was an experiment we’ll definitely repeat in the future. Frank Wormuth and his team did a great job. I think it was also very important for the young players.”
On team spirit: “As far as the team spirit is concerned I can only say that it’s fantastic which makes me very very happy. There is a great atmosphere within the team and that’s only gotten better and better in the last couple of days. Out of individual club interests grew an overarching team spirit. The players identify with the team now.”
The training: “We used the time to train very intensely. The players used the games against the U20s very well and we made some great progress throughout.”
Sunday’s Friendly: “It’s an important opportunity for us to learn, both tactically and about the individual players. After that we’ll decide who the 23 players are that will travel to Brazil.”
Personnel against Cameroon: “Philipp Lahm will not play, it would be too much of a risk. He will still train on a daily basis though. Manuel Neuer will also not feature but we expect him to be in goal on Friday against Armenia. On Sunday Roman Weidenfeller will begin in goal. As for other players, I have some ideas in my head. I’m going to wait on the final training session Saturday and decide on Sunday. Either way, Marcel Schmelzer and Bastian Schweinsteiger will both be available to play.”
On Sami Khedira: “He is a leadership figure in this team. He plays a role not just on the pitch but also an important part off it. We can always rely on him. It’s incredible how much he has invested in the team. He always gives extra effort and he is always very motivated. I think that he’ll be ready in time for the start of the tournament.”
Also check out this interview with Germany newcomer and World Cup hopeful, Shkodran Mustafi at DFB.de
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