Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Löw on Podolski's retirement: "A wonderful but sad moment", 21.03.2017

Another international, another press conference. Lukas Podolski looked as good as ever while taking questions from the media ahead of his 134th and final appearance in a Germany shirt against England on Wednesday. Before hand the 31-year-old received messages of thanks and good luck from for team manager Rudi Völler and ex-National team coach Jürgen Klinsmann, as well as the absent Per Mertesacker via video. Current Germany Joachim Löw also only had kind words for the attacker, as well as the promise of the captain’s armband tomorrow night. In response to a question from a journalist in the National Football Museum as to whether Podolski would receive the captaincy, Löw answered: “Yes, definitely.” Podolski’s reply: “Incredible, I had no idea until now.”

Joachim Löw on...

...Podolski’s retirement: It’s going to be a wonderful moment, but for a sad one as well at the same time. We have come a long way with one another, cleared many hurdles, experienced disappointment but also had the best form of elation that a trainer or a player can experience by winning the World Cup in 2014. The circumstances tomorrow are totally perfect. It’s the right surroundings and the right atmosphere in the stadium. So many are coming just for Lukas, he is one of the best players Germany had produced.

...lasting memories of Podolski: Lukas will play in his 130th international. He is a world champion, and one of the best players to come out of Germany. The way he has played is totally unique. But he has played a part in something wonderful, and the National team was like a family for him. He has an incredible sense of empythy for other and he makes everyone feel important. A player like that, like Lukas, will be sorely missed.

...the starting XI: Manuel Neuer is injured and has not travelled. Julian Draxler and Mesut Özil both have muscle strains and will not player, while Mario Gomez has an adductor issue. They are the players who are not available tomorrow. We will train this evening and then I will decide.

...England: It’s been noticeable in the last few months how much England are in a transition. They have more possession. They have a lot of good and very quick players who break quickly. Their play is braver and they take more risks than they did at the Euros in France.

...the first call-up for Timo Werner: I have been following Timo for a while now, since he was at VfB Stuttgart. He is quick, a danger in front of goal and has come on strong at Leipzig. Timo is someone who has what a lot of players don’t- he tracks back deep, runs a lot, is quick and is an excellent finisher. If he continues to improve like this then he I think he has a good career in the National team ahead of him.

Lukas Podolski on...

…his retirement from International football with DFB: I have had so many enjoyable and positive moments over the last 13 years. It already feels a little strange, starting with being here on this stage for the press conference and then going into the changing room. There will be many emotional moments. I’m so pleased I have the chance to end it this way. That means so, so much to me.

...being captain against England: Sensational. I only heard that today, I had no idea otherwise. There will be nothing better than leading the team in my last game as captain.

...his memories after 13 years with the National team: There isn’t one moment I could pick out and say “that was the highlight”. Maybe playing the World Cup at home in 2006, as that happens so very rarely. But there really isn’t one moment that I would want to pick out.

...his time as a German International: Time flies when you are a footballer. It is only ever match, packing and travelling. You have very little time to take things in. They were however 13 fun and cool years. Everyone played their part. From Rudi Völler, who picked me for the u-21st, to Jürgen Klinsmann and Jogi Löw. If you work with a coach for more than 10 years, you build something special, off the pitch as well. He gave me so much, in all areas of the game.

...a potential return to the DFB setup: I have a few more years left in me yet. Then I have no plans at the moment. I have always enjoyed working with kids, trying to help them - so that could be a potential route I take.

...what he will tell young players: You have to stay true on the pitch, that’s something every young player should remember. I had to fight hard, few players are being taken on nowadays and that makes it harder. Despite this pressure you should aim to keep the joy and the fun you get out of life, even if it is off the pitch.

21 March 2017
Originally on Uploaded here to prevent loss once moved on or removed from that site.

No comments:

Post a Comment