Germany’s Joachim Loew relishes France Euro 2016 semi-final


Evian (France) (AFP) – Germany coach Joachim Loew is relishing facing hosts France in Thursday’s Euro 2016 semi-final despite a mounting injury list.

“It’s great that there’s a game like this. I love playing knockout games against teams of this calibre,” said Loew in Evian on Monday.

Loew’s cause for optimism over the Marseille semi-final is not obvious, with three key players definitely ruled out, while captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is doubtful with a new knee injury.

Germany have defender Mats Hummels suspended while Mario Gomez and Sami Khedira are out with injury — Gomez for the rest of the tournament.

As Loew acknowledged, France were buoyed by Sunday’s 5-2 hammering of minnows Iceland in their quarter-final.

And the hosts can expect near-fanatical support in Marseille, the heartland of the nation’s die-hard fans.

Nevertheless, Loew can barely wait for kick-off as Germany rest after Saturday’s tense quarter-final penalty shootout win over Italy.

“I’m not worried about who the favourite is,” said Germany’s head coach.

“It would be easy to say that we have a few injuries and France are favourites as they played really well. But that does not matter at all over 90 or 120 minutes.

“It is like it was against Italy: a game of two teams with outstanding individuals. Both have a clear direction, even if France naturally plays offensively. I love games like this.”

Loew said Schweinsteiger, who has a strained knee, will only face France if fully fit.

The Manchester United star had only recently recovered from tearing the medial ligament in his right knee in March.

“If a player is less than 100 percent fit, then I won’t play him,” said Loew.

“I made that mistake once before in my career and I won’t do it again.”

Loew refused to be drawn on the mistake he referred to — passing it off from earlier in his career as a club coach.

But he has been in this situation before with Germany.

Loew played Michael Ballack in the Euro 2008 final, when Germany were beaten 1-0 by Spain, when the midfielder was carrying a calf injury.

25+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
  • Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
  • Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
  • Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
  • Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo.
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
  • $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
  • Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
  • Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family

Leave a Reply

Translate »