< November 2017 | Archive Index | January 2018 >

December 2017

World Cup Group Stage Draw, Moscow, 1 December 2017

Germany have been paired in Group F with Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.

For full reactions, interviews and photographs, see my World Cup 2018 Index.

FIFA Museum Visit and Swiss Sports Forum, Zurich, 5 December 2017

Löw: We want to lift the Trophy again - from
"That night in Rio played out like a film, and memories of individual moments only came back to me later. What will always stay with me is the way our team became a unit and how much I enjoyed working with each and every one of our players."
Germany coach Joachim Löw reflected on their 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil triumph during his recent visit to the FIFA World Football Museum. Löw made the visit to Zurich along with DFB President Reinhard Grindel to take a stroll through the history of the beautiful game.
Clad in one of his trademark black roll-neck sweaters, the Germany boss relived every goal in his team's 7-1 semi-final victory over hosts Brazil before reacquainting himself with the World Cup Trophy. When asked whether getting this close to the ultimate footballing accolade so near to the next tournament could prove to be a bad omen, he replied: "Holding the Trophy in my hands before the 2014 World Cup brought us luck."
With six months to go until the World Cup in Russia, Löw seemed relaxed yet focused during his visit to the Museum. "I don't feel stressed during the World Cup," he explained. "These matches are special moments for me as a coach, so I look forward to them." The 57-year-old only ever processes pressure after a tournament, and Brazil was no exception. "We spent eight weeks working towards one goal," he said. "There was great euphoria at the end of it all, but after returning home I thought, 'What do I do now?' I was awake at night rerunning parts of the tournament in my head."
Despite this period of soul searching, the architect of Germany's 2014 triumph quickly began looking to the future again. He started working with his team towards the next success by giving a new crop of young players vital international experience at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017. Although Löw leaves nothing to chance when it comes to training and match preparation, using scientific data to ensure that Germany are physically and tactically prepared for every challenge, he is well aware that "at some stage we'll reach our limits in these areas. The players' cognitive skills and mental state will become increasingly important in the future, so that's something we need to address at our youth development centres."
Nevertheless, all that matters to Löw right now is the defence of Germany's title - although he preferred to phrase this objective a little differently by declaring: "We want to lift the Trophy again." He believes the potential use of Video Assistant Referees (VARs) is a positive step and advocates the use of video evidence. "It's important to give new technology a chance," he said. "Video Assistant Referees are making football fairer."
Löw concluded his tour of the Museum by adding his name to the Wall of Champions. In about six months' time, world football will find out if his lucky charm works a second time around.

Keine Berührungsängste! Löw: "Ein bisschen wie in Trance"

Jogi Löw warnt Pektovic: "Leider spielt Brasilien nicht mehr so naiv" In the evening Jogi was a guest speaker at the Swiss Sports Forum and had some advice for Swiss national team coach Vladimir Petkovic tips on their forthcoming World Cup group match against Brazil, speaking of Germany's 7-1 semi-final victory last time:
"The next Brazilian coach has made it clear to all the players that what happened to their nation against Germany must never happen again. Now Neymar is also defending, the Brazilians are all playing for the team. They drew strength from this historic defeat. They will not be so naive again - unfortunately."

Löws Weltmeistereinblicke - from Lucerne Zeitung
He also spoke about developments in sport "We will not find anyone who walks 100m in under 10 seconds, the future is in the field of mental development". "There are different people who help in certain pressurised situations. I can delegate a lot of tasks and during a tournament I almost do not feel stress" he said. "The stress comes later when I go home and am alone." Then the questions come up "'What am I doing at home?' It can take a few weeks to find a new direction, a new motivation."

"Ich w&AUML;re fast FCZ-Trainer geworden" - Jogi talks to about the part Switzerland played in his early coaching career.

Video from

Joachim Löw has been voted the Top National Team Coach for 2017 by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, scoring nearly double the points tally of his nearest rival, Tite of Brazil.

DFB Bundestag, Frankfurt, 8 December 2017

Lahm made Honorary Captain and named Euro 2024 ambassador

Philipp Lahm was presented with the award at the DFB Bundestag and joined a list of greats including Fritz Walter, Uwe Seeler, Franz Beckenbauer, Lothar Matthäus and Jürgen Klinsmann,

Joachim Löw gave a rousing speech in praise of his former captain.

"For you, a new award should've been created: best international footballer of the decade. It was a huge honour to work with you. Thank you for everything, Philipp!"
He continued: "You weren't just a special player, leader and captain. Most important of all, you are a special individual. That's what makes the brilliant players. I want to thank you for your incredible performances. You've been a crucial part of the team's positive development."

A dfb video of the full event - Jogi's speech is at 78 minutes.

World Club Cup, United Arab Emirates

Löw in Dubai with coaching team - 9 December 2017
"We're always looking to broaden our horizons," said national team head coach, Joachim Löw. "The Club World Cup in Abu Dubai is a great opportunity to do that." Löw and his coaching team, including assistance coaches, Marcus Sorg and Thomas Schneider, and goalkeeper coach, Andreas Köpke, made the 4,836km flight to the Persian Gulf on Saturday, where the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup will be held, a competition pitting the best team from each continent against each other.
Real Madrid, the current holders, are representing Europe in this year's competition, while Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds, Morocco's Wyded Casablanca, CF Pachuca from Mexico, Gremio Porto Allegre from Brazil, New Zealand's Auckland City and hosts Al Jazira Club are also taking part. "Apart from watching matches, our main focus will be the World Cup in Russia," said Löw. "How do we structure our training camp? When should we start it? What type of things should we work on? These are the sort of questions we need to think about."

Gremio 1 - 0 Pachuca, Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates,
World Club Cup Semi-Final, 12 December 2017

The following day Joachim Löw attended the second semi-final (above right) at the at the ZSC Stadium, Abu Dhabi, where he saw Real Madrid come back from a goal down against Al Jazira thanks to a winning goal by substitute Gareth Bale, 13 December 2017.

Match report from

Also it was reported that Jogi was on the guest list for the final, though no photographs or other reports mentioning him appeared from the game game.

End-of-Year Interview, Bayerischer Rundfunk

There were not so many end-of-year interviews as usual this December, the only main ones being in Bayerischer Rundfunk, excerpts of which were reported online.

"Der Videobeweis macht den Fußball gerechter" - 22 December 2017
Jogi spoke about how he considered VAR would make football fairer, his disappointment with the Bundesliga clubs' showing in Europe this season and Sandro Wagner's move to Bayern Munich.

Rück- und Ausblicke mit Fußball-Bundestrainer Joachim Löw - questions and answers, 25 December 2017

Jogi said he was not as 'deeply relaxed' as some would think. He says "you talk a lot, work a lot, and above all think a lot" but that his experience also allows him to know when it is time to switch off and have also thoughts.

Löw expects Neuer back by March

"The plan is that he can train sometime in February, March, that he certainly needs more time [to recover],"...
"He is the best keeper in the world, our captain and we absolutely need him."
Jogi also spoke about Sandro Wagner, and his move to Bayern Munich "I spoke with Sandro Wagner about his transfer. I told him that it will be difficult to start all games like at Hoffenheim but that Bayern are in 3 competitions and he will have his chance. I also recommended him to speak with Jupp Heynckes and how he plans with him. He uses his body well and is not easy for anyy defender to defend against him. He is a player with maturity and personality and one who stands by his own opinion. He is a very open and honest guy and he is very positive within the team." - quotes thanks to Bayern Mania

When asked about his future, he said he definitely intended to fulfil his contract until 2020, but again repeated that the time to take stock is in the weeks following a tournament, and stressed how much joy the job of Bundestrainer still brought him. He spoke of taking a complete break from football over Christmas, which he will spend in Freiburg, before the meetings, discussions and preparation ahead of the World Cup start in January.

With thanks to everyone, especially Lucille, Silke, Susanne and Alessandra..
I could not do this without you all!

Last updated 2 February 2018
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!