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May 2018

Another video from Mercedes-Benz Fußball, this time with an interview with Jogi, 1 May 2018

Bernabeu's VIP box full to see Real Madrid against Bayern
"For Löw, his arrival in the box was hindered somewhat due to the constant recognition he received form Real fans after taking a wrong turn on the way to the box."
A thrilling second leg Champions League semi-final at the Bernabeu, 1 May 2018, saw Bayern Munich lose out on aggregate by the solitary goal and Real Madrid progress to the final of the Champions League.
Real Madrid resist Bayern Munich onslaught after Sven Ulreich's blunder - match report from The Guardian
Für Löw hat das Bayern-Aus etwas Gutes - 2 May 2018
It was not lost on the media that Bayern Munich's exit meant a greater preparation time for Jogi with the Bayern players ahead of the World Cup. Only one German national team player, Toni Kroos, will be involved in the Champions League Final on 26 May.

Löw spielt den Doppelpass mit "Trott-war" - 2 May 2018
Stuttgart newspaper for the homeless "Trott-war" will publish a World Cup special this summer, with renowed guest authors including Joachim Löw, Jürgen Klinsmann and Sami Khedira.Jogi was asked what he did to help the social disadvantaged. "I don't have a foundation and don't want to make my help public. I think that helping is a private matter."
Joachim Löw wants footballers to do more to help the underprivileged - the article was later featured in the Uk's Big Issue, 8 June 2018

"I'm convinced that our players and coaches are strongly engaged. There are many players with us who have some charitable trusts, and there are others, who do not have their own foundations, but help behind the scenes," said the 58-year-old coach, in response to a question from Heinz Oehme of Spende Dein Pfand - a plastic bottle deposit scheme.
"Both are completely plausible to me. I don't have a foundation and wouldn't like to make my help public. I think giving support is a private matter."
The debate over the size of footballer's pay packets is just as hotly contested in Germany as it is in the UK, it seems.
"Being dependent on performance is a difficult concept. There are players who fill stadiums across the world and have great charisma. But one must also consider: It is people, and not machines, who call up the same performances three times a week," he said.
"It's also important for me in this context that money is also generated seriously. Football has become a big industry in which many people have found jobs, and also in which a lot of money is being moved.
"And one thing is also clear: there are players who take centre stage. Therefore, they should also be entitled to a large proportion of these earnings."
If there is a singular feature of Löw's 12-year reign as German national boss that has attracted his attention then it is his dress sense.With co-ordinated outfits across his backroom staff, his style and panache on the sidelines inspired volunteer Inge Klose to ask how important Löw's appearance is to him and how he keeps his signature hair do in check.
"In the job as national coach, appearance is not the most important thing, but it's also not completely unimportant," he revealed.
"We represent a club with six million members - and also the country a little. We emit an image - and that should to some extent be right. The coach is also dressed accordingly. The hairdo? It's naturally a part of the look.
Jogi's Nivea campaign for 2018 is out - with the tagline "Gib mir 5" (Give me 5) - no doubt a reference to Germany going for their fifth title! - 8 May 2018

Watch the TV Spot right.

In a sure sign that the World Cup is coming ever closer, this time featuring Jogi and the team promoting Coca-Cola and limited edition cans featuring a player or Jogi on each! - 8 May 2018

As another Bundesliga season came to an end, Jogi was at the Schwarzwald-stadion in Freiburg for their 2-0 victory over Augsburg, 12 May 2018.

Freiburg down Augsburg to rubber-stamp Bundesliga survival - match report

Provisional World Cup squad announcement and Contract Extension, Dortmund Football Museum, 15 May 2018

Joachim Löw has announced his provisional 27-man squad for the World Cup, as follows:

Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno, Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp
Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Jonas Hector, Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Marvin Plattenhardt, Antonio Rüdiger, Niklas Süle, Jonathan Tah
Midfielders: Julian Brandt), Julian Draxler, Leon Goretzka, Ilkay Gündogan, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Mesut Özil, Sebastian Rudy
Forwards: Mario Gomez, Thomas Müller, Nils Petersen, Marco Reus, Leroy Sane, Timo Werner

The squad must be reduced to the final 23 by 4 June.

The most controversial aspect of the squad selection proved to be the omission of Sandro Wagner with a striker's place given to uncapped Nils Petersen of Freiburg. Jogi revealed that such decisions are never easy:

"The day the nominations are revealed is always a bit split. On one hand, the players who have been named are over the moon. On the other hand, there's the disappointment of the players who didn't quite make the cut. My job as national coach is sometimes to drop a bombshell on some players' dreams. The decision is never against a particular player, but for the overall success of the team. The nomination process is complex; we discuss individual players and positions for weeks on end. We analyse and discuss it to the littlest details and in the end it's decided on the fine details. The criteria are clear - which players can deliver a top performance physically and mentally at the World Cup after a long season? The entire squad was selected based on piecing together a coherent overall picture. The team needs to function well together both on the pitch and off it. A message to the players who haven't been named in the squad: you are very, very talented footballers and great guys, you were deservedly in the first team and maybe you'll be back with us after the World Cup."

Manuel Neuer's fitness was probably the most talked about aspect of the squad in the run-up to the announcement, and, as expected, Joachim Löw included four keepers, with Manuel's fitness to be assessed during the preparation period.
"The coaching team have been in contact with Manuel almost every day for the past few weeks. We're taking four goalkeepers to South Tyrol because Manuel rejoined full training this week at Bayern Munich, which means that he can train fully with us as well. We want to assess the situation for ourselves and use the chance to observe and assess him at the training camp. We know the responsibilities we to for the team, health and the fans, as does Manuel. Is he in a position to produce the top performances we're used to? We'll make a final decision that on 4th June. Until then, we'll see how it goes each day. After South Tyrol, we'll talk openly and honestly about whether he can play at the World Cup or not. Nobody can go to such a tournament without game time - Manuel knows that. Everything is looking positive at the moment; his injury is fully healed. Manuel can cope with the full strain of training and more importantly he's our captain. We hope that he is able to come."

Golden boy Götze out of Germany's preliminary World Cup squad
The most notable omission was World Cup Final hero Mario Götze. "It wasn't necessarily his season." explained Jogi. "Of course he's an exceptionally quality player, but he just hasn't found his form this season. I hope he can start over again in Dortmund after the summer break. I'm sorry for it, it was a difficult decision to make."

The only uncapped player in the squad was in-form Freiburg striker Nils Petersen, "Nils has scored 15 Bundesliga goals for a team which hasn't created that many chances. He's made a really, really good impression on me and he's fit to play. He's proven that he's an excellent super sub. I think that he can grow from this challenge. I'm expecting great things from him."

This meant no place for Sandro Wagner and Jogi emphasised that such decisions are often decided on the "fine details" of squad selection. [Sandro's] given his all in games for us and for his club and he's a great character. We had to make a decision and that decision went in favour of other players. It was a decision for Mario Gomez and for Nils Petersen, not against Sandro Wagner."

On other players included:
Jerome Boateng:  "Jerome is back in fitness training. In all probability, his injury will heal by the end of the training camp. He's a player who you can't replace like-for-like. We're doing all we can to make sure he'll be there."
Jonathan Tah:  "He's made great progress and shown a real improvement in his play from the back, which is why he's earned a call-up.",br>Marco Reus: "We're happy that he's been injury-free for the last few months. He has a special knack for finding space, he's very creative and in great form. He can do extraordinary things and I'm expecting a lot from him. We have to be careful about how much he trains of course. We hope that he remains fit and then he can play a decisive part in the World Cup."

He confirmed that the selection of Emre Can was never an issue, as he had been out since March and could not be selected because of that.

Jogi also added his thoughts on the controversial photographs of Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan with Turkish present Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the publication of which had received considerable criticism both from the German media and the DFB itself.
Turkey president photos a 'lesson' for Germany's Mesut Ozil, Ilkay Gundogan - Joachim Löw

"We told them that this has not been the best idea," Löw said at a news conference on Tuesday, one day after the photos were published in Germany.
"But I am also sympathetic towards them. Two hearts sometimes beat in players with an immigrant background. ... It's not that easy, and both have said they did not want to make a political statement. Both have done a lot for integration in Germany. It will be a lesson for them." and added that they will be spoken to during the training camp.
Looking ahead he confirmed that the team wanted to achieve as much as they possibly could. "We are the reigning world champions and Confed Cup winners and we want to reach the final and defend our World Cup title. That's our target. We have three or four important points which we're going to focus on at the training camp. We want to show how committed we are to bringing the trophy back to Germany. The players are in good form. Of course, we assess their performances for their clubs, but also how they perform for us. All of it goes into our assessments. Our players know our philosophy. There are also players who play a different role for their club. But the transition is always fast and smooth."

The was a rather unusual end to the press conference, with Russian coach Stanislav Cherchesov appearing in hologram form!

Analysis and comment:
Shocks and surprises: Jogi Löw names his first 27 players for Russia 2018 - from
Joachim Löw ist ein Meister der diskreten Moderation
Freiburg striker Nils Petersen fires his way into Germany's provisional FIFA World Cup squad

Confirming reports in the press that morning, there was major news concerning the coaching team, with the extension of Jogi's contract, and that of his management team, from 2020 until 2022.

The official announcement from
Löw and management team extend contracts
Germany's head coach Joachim Löw added: "To continue to work with Andy Köpke, Thomas Schneider, Marcus Sorg, Oliver Bierhoff and the whole management in coaching the best players in Germany, to continue to develop them and help them to improve, to continue to build this team, to continue to strive for the biggest titles that football has to offer - that drives me and makes me just as excited as it always has. I am especially looking forward to the upcoming World Cup in Russia and the intense weeks that we have ahead of us. It is the only thing on my mind at the moment. I am thankful to president Reinhard Grindel, general secretary Freidrich Curtius and the entire DFB for the continued support and trust that they have for us and what we do."

A squad selection rarely passes without controversy, even for a World Cup winner, and this time it fell to Sandro Wagner who announced his retirement from internationl football complete with bitter sideswipe by claiming his open, honest and direct attitude did not endear him to the national team set-up. - 17 May 2018
Joachim Löw kontert Sandro Wagner: "Als wären die Spieler Vollidioten" - 18 May 2018
Joachim Löw hit back the following day saying he did not perceive Wagner's criticism to be directed at him but at the other players in the squad.
'Ridiculous:' Joachim Löw responds to Sandro Wagner criticism

"He's portraying some of our most experienced players, leaders in the squad, as complete idiots," Löw said at an event in Berlin hosted by the newspaper.
"As if they're only in the squad because they don't voice their opinions? What should the likes of Mats Hummels or Jerome Boateng think of that? It's ridiculous."
"Of course I understand that he's disappointed but I think his reaction is over-the-top," continued Löw. "Everyone who works with us knows that we always encourage the players to speak their minds, to be open and honest, and to be critical. We place great value on that."
Jogi speaks to the media on Wagner at the Bild100 Sport event.

Bundestrainer als Meister der stillen Demontage - praise for Jogi, and the way he defeated Wagner in a mere two sentences. The Bundestrainer does not need to rant to defend himself against criticism, says Focus. - 19 May 2018

And still the adverts come. This time regular National Team sponsors Commerzbank.

Jogi tells how, although digital technology is important, nothing beats a one-to-one approach!

"Digitale Technik wird immer wichtiger. Wenn Du digital nicht ganz vorne bist, bist Du auch nicht ganz oben mit. Trotzdem gibt es Momente, dann ist digital egal. Dann zählt vor allem eins: von Mensch zu Mensch."

Joachim Löw and Oliver Bierhoff pose for a photo at a presentation to announce Samsung as the "official technological partner of the DFB". - 15 May 2018

'Bild100 Sport' Get Together, Berlin, 18 May 2018

Jogi is photographed at the event in Berlin. - 18 May 2018

'Messi comparison was a burden for Götze' - Löw regrets famous World Cup quote
Joachim Löw believes his quote comparing Mario Gotze to Lionel Messi hindered the Germany international's progress following the 2014 World Cup.
The attacking midfielder scored the winning goal over Argentina in the final to help Die Mannschaft lift the trophy, with Löw telling Gotze to "show the world you can be better than Messi" when sending him on as a late substitute.
"I commited the mistake to talk about that sentence publicly afterwards," Low said at the Bild100sport event in Berlin.
"That did not help Mario during the next few months. He was always measured to it and scoring the decisive goal might have become a burden for him."

A busy day in Berlin started with DFB officials, including Jogi and Oliver Bierhoff, sitting down with Mesut Özil and Ilkay Gündogan, ahead of the players' meeting with German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The DFB were keen to set right the controversy that had grown following Özil and Gündogan being photographed with Turkish president Erdogan earlier in the week. - 19 May 2018

Özil and Gündogan meet German president after Erdogan photos row

"The two players contacted us and the DFB and wanted to clear this issue up," Germany coach Joachim Loew told reporters.

In the evening it was time for the DFB-Pokal Finale and the event was used to launch a new set of stamps commemorating Germany's four World Cup wins.

Frankfurt shock Bayern in German Cup final and ruin Heynckes farewell
Eintracht Frankfurt spring a surprise by beating Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich 3-1.

Joachim Löw legt gegen Sandro Wagner nach: "Ein Affront gegen andere"
Jogi was interviewed during the match and said that although he did not usually comment back on criticism, he again had to stress his annoyance at the remarks from Sandro Wagner on his omission from the World Cup squad.

"To say that those who express their opinion are not included is an affront to other players who have 80, 90, 100 international matches with us."
He also spoke of Mesut Özil and Ilkay Gündogan's contacting the DFB in a desire to clear up the Erdogan issue.

Löw gibt Bayern-Stars Sonderurlaub - news that some of the German stars, including Chelsea's man-on-the-match in the F A Cup Final, Antonio Rüdiger, are likely to be joining the training camp late.

A photograph from the Hugo Boss team photoshoot.

Click on image right for larger version.

On 24 May 2018 the German squad flew to North Italy for their pre-tournament training camp in Eppan.

All the news, interviews, reports and, of course, plenty of photographs from the first two weeks, plus coverage of Jogi's press conferences, are contained in my two separate pagesL

South Tyrol Training Camp Week 1
24 - 27 May 2018
South Tyrol Training Camp Week 2
29 May - 3 June 2018

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

Last updated 8 June 2018
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!