Finally in my series of semi-finalists profiles, is world champions Germany. Can they become only the fourth team to hold the international and European titles at the same time?
Results so far
- Germany 2-0 Hungary
- Germany 0-0 Ukraine
- Northern Ireland 0-1 Germany (Germany finish top of Group C)
- Germany 3-0 Slovakia
- Germany 1-1 Italy (AET – Germany win 6-5 on penalties)
- Mario Gomez – 2
- Jerome Boateng – 1
- Julian Draxler – 1
- Shkodran Mustafi – 1
- Mesut Ozil – 1
- Bastian Schweinsteiger – 1
Six questions with Katrin Figge (@katrinfigge)
1) What was the mood amongst German fans before the tournament? Was there an expectation to win it due to the World Cup success?
For every major tournament, the mood is generally great among the Germans. Everybody loves football. Of course, the fans also had high expectations. We did win the World Cup, after all, and did well in major tournaments over the last couple of years.
2) Is this team better than the World Cup winners two years ago?
I think it’s always a challenge to have a balance between young and talented players and more experienced ones. This Germany team is quite young, but already very mature. I wouldn’t say they are better than our team two years ago, but also not worse. Just different.
3) Does the team’s lack of a true striker worry you, especially now that Mario Gomez is out? Or can Germany cope?
I thought it was a big blow when Gomez was ruled out since he had played a great tournament until his injury. But we still have Thomas Müller (he hasn’t scored yet but is always good for a goal), and also our other players like Draxler, Schweinsteiger etc have shown that they can score.
4) Who is the team’s unsung hero?
Many people have written off Schweinsteiger but he has always shown in the past that he can come back and be crucial in important games when it really matters. I also think that Draxler should be mentioned. People often said that he has such great potential but hasn’t been able to show it yet – this is definitely not true anymore, I think. Jerome Boateng, in the past often regarded as a defender who makes too many fatal mistakes, has become world class. He is absolutely outstanding, despite the fact that he caused a penalty in the last game.
5) Germany have been called an excellent ‘tournament team’. Just why are they so good on the biggest international stages?!
That is a very good question. I am happy that it turns out that way 🙂 but I think that the German team, unlike others, don’t have that one superstar in their midst: everybody is important, everyone has a part to play. So they always convey great team spirit.
6) Can Germany win it? What do they need to do to win the trophy?
I am a bit concerned for today because Hummels, Khedira and Gomez are all not playing. And France has a very good team and the home advantage. At the same time, of course I think they can win it. They just need to be focused and perhaps also need a little bit of luck
Huge thanks to Katrin for taking the time to answer the questions at such short notice, and you can catch Germany’s semi-final against France in Marseille on Thursday from 7:30pm on BBC One.