Every player loves representing their national team and even though Bayern’s Leon Goretzka is fully focussed on his club football at the moment, he knows what challenges he and his German side will face during the European Championship in the summer.
The Euros were meant to be played in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic essentially halted football around the world and brought it to a standstill. So it will now take place in 2021 and for some that are inconvenient but for Germany, it could be a blessing in disguise.
Over the last year and a half, Joachim Low and his side have been a shadow of the once-dominant force they once were and with the Euro’s being pushed back, it might give the German’s some much-needed time to set things right in training.
Goretzka spoke to Bundesliga.com about Germany’s recent struggles and how they can turn things around.
“We’re in a difficult situation at the moment, that’s no secret. We wanted to go through a transition which was then hindered for various reasons. It made things difficult for us,” said Goretzka. “The last game against Spain was the low point. We need to work our way out of it. Despite all this though, we have got quality in our squad and we can justifiably hope for a successful European Championships.”
The Bayern Munich midfielder did acknowledge that his team has to build up more cohesion so they can be truly firing on all cylinders.
“It’s very important that we find a settled team that we want to play with, that’s been a huge challenge for the coach because of a lot of injuries, players missing due to (COVID-19), not many games, not many training sessions,” Goretzka stated. “We’ve hardly had any training sessions. I don’t know how often we’ve played with the same 11 but very seldom. That’s important for a team, you have to know how things are going to play out, to get to know each other better, learn each other’s strengths, learn how to balance out the weaknesses. That’s the key to success for every team and that won’t work fully until during the tournament. We have to make sure we have more than three games but we’ll do that.”
Goretzka pushing his case for a starting birth for Germany
When it comes to his place in the national side, Goretzka has played his way into the starting side after a string of superb performances for Bayern, and the man himself is fully expecting a big role for his national side.
“Ideally I want to deliver in the Euros in the same way I do at Bayern,” said Goretzka. “That’s what I’m talking about, we need to find a settled team which will take us forward. You’ll see then who is needed and for what. Once we have defined that, we have the quality in the team to carry it out.”
Musiala to play alongside Goretzka for Germany
One factor that might give the national side a much-needed boost is the fact that Jamal Musiala chose to side with Germany instead of England and Goretzka could not be happier for the youngster.
“I was really happy about the decision. The fact that he took the time to listen to his heart, that doesn’t happen very often. It’s a real honor to play football for your country and happily he gave it serious thought and listened to his heart,” Goretzka said. “For us, it’ll hugely enrich the squad. He’s showing that he can develop into an exceptional player. He has scored some important goals this season. We’ll keep trying to stay behind him, to push him so he can reach the top of his game. He’s in a good place with us and we’re extremely happy that he chose to play for Germany.”
France remains strong favourites for the tournament but Goretzka has not started any war of words with his French teammates.
“To be honest it hasn’t come up at all. We’ve got a lot on our plates with the team at the moment and the games are coming so thick and fast that we only really think about the next opponents,” Goretzka said. “I haven’t spoken to any of my French teammates about the Euros.”
Given his recent form, Goretzka will surely be a pivotal player for Die Mannschaft in the summer and will be hoping his national side can rectify their slide in time for the competition.