Ghana, 21 June 2014 >

GERMANY 4 - 0 PORTUGAL

Monday, 16 June 2014

Arena Fonte Nova Stadium, Salvador
World Cup 2014, Group G

"Winning was our only option and the team went out there with that in mind."

14 June 2014 - 16 June 2014

Goalscorers:
Thomas Müller 12', 45'+1, 78', Mats Hummels 32'

Germany's World Cup campaign is off to a flying start. With Thomas Müller the goalscoring star, and Cristiano Ronaldo subdued, Jogi's tactical triumph is acknowledged worldwide!

Match reports:
Müller hat trick as Germany rout Portugal
Thomas Müller scores hat-trick as Germany beat 10-man Portugal 4-0
Thomas Müller scores hat-trick after Portuguese capitulate

Müller hat-trick as Germany slay Portugal

Germany coach Joachim Löw hails clinical finishing
Löw: Boateng did a superb job on Ronaldo

"We kept it incredibly tight. We more or less prevented them hitting us on the break. At 3-0 up against ten men the important thing was to retain possession and play with economy of movement. Thomas Müller kept opening up gaps with his runs. Jerome Boateng did a superb job on [Cristiano] Ronaldo.
Mats Hummels took a knock on the thigh but I don't think it's anything dramatic."
Muller is something special - Löw
"He is a very unconventional player. Even as a coach you don't know which way he will go sometimes.
"Thomas played very well up front. He kept Pepe and [Bruno] Alves busy the whole time. With his running paths he ripped the defence apart for other players - and he scored three goals. That's Thomas Muller."
Low also took time to celebrate Jerome Boateng's defensive performance on Cristiano Ronaldo, who cut a frustrated figure for most of the game after failing to get on the scoresheet.
"When Ronaldo can start to run, it is going to get difficult because he can score with both feet. If he enters the box it is very dangerous," he explained.
"It was our goal to hassle him when he got the ball. Boateng did that very well. And when Boateng wasn't around, somebody else did."
"The team was extremely compact, we did not give away counter attacks. When we had the ball we went up the pitch well. Especially in the first half we played a fast and offensive game and we converted our chances.
"It was a different game in the second half. With this heat and against an opponent with a man down and leading 3-0 it was important to keep the ball and to be energy-efficient.

Löw delighted by demolition job

"We were clinical in finishing our chances, we had four goals from about six chances," added Löw, who has always insisted that the Germans had prepared for all eventualities ahead of this year's campaign.
"The team played well and didn't let Portugal have many chances. We played at high pace in the first half to get our chances," added Löw.

(On the news Michael Schumacher is out of hospital)  "It's very good news, we are all elated of course," said Löw. "Led by (Schumacher fan) Lukas Podolski, we all really crossed our fingers for him and the fact he has taken the next step is great."
(On Angela Merkel's visit after the game)  "She gave a little speech to say how nice it was that we won, especially after such a long trip here," said Löw. "There was a lot of applause.
"We always like it when she comes to see us, she is always a nice guest to have." - from firstpost.com

FIFA match page
How Löw's Tactical Changes Transformed Germany Against Portugal - from Bleacher Report

Joachim Löw: "Es gab keine andere Option, als zu gewinnen" - an interview from dfb.de

Germany's demolition of Portugal shows world is turning upside down - from the Daily Telegraph

Bundestrainer macht alles richtig - Jogi Löws taktische Meisterleistung
Jogi's tactics also came in for universal approval in the media with The Independent saying "Low's own tactical approach warranted praise. His attacking choices had the desired impact." and dw.de concluding "The victory against Portugal is also a success for the national coach - his tactics worked." under a headline "What striker problem?"
German media heap praise on Löw's team for Portugal rout - a summary of press reaction

Löws verlorene WM-Wette - 18 June 2014
And it would appear that Mats Hummels' header has cost Jogi a lunch, Hansi Flick reporting he had promised to buy him lunch, should Germany score from a set piece!

Joachim Löw post-match ARD interview on youtube


Starting Line-up:
Manuel Neuer, Benedikt Höwedes, Per Mertesacker, Mats Hummels (Shkodran Mustafi), Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Mario Götze, Mesut Özil (Andre Schürrle), Thomas Müller (Lukas Podolski)


Training, Salvador, 15 June 2014

FIFA Press Conference, Salvador, 15 June 2014

Löw: Schweinsteiger helicopter trip a FIFA precaution

"We had a first investigation of [Philipp] Lahm's condition and he and [Manuel] Neuer were checked in Munich. Bastian was also checked, in Mainz," the coach told the media. "But FIFA also demanded a medical check for insurance reasons. We then decided we would wait for a couple of days to see and in the game against Armenia he was fine. His knee is fine but FIFA wanted this extra medical check."
"As far as tomorrow is concerned, all players will be 100 percent fit."
(Miroslav Klose)  "I believe it will be very important for him personally to break the record," he said. "It is quite extraordinary if you can become one of the best scorers of all time. It's an added motivation but it's a secondary issue for me. I would be very happy for him but those stats are secondary. The team needs to be successful.
"Whether Miroslav starts or is on the bench, he is very important for us. He is a role model. He has worked so hard, he is also 100 percent fit. He has not been distracted by the whole hullabaloo surrounding the record or the tournament."
"I think we've shown in the last years that we are a team that have a lot of options. If we perform consistently across the tournament, with plenty of passion and commitment, we can very tough to beat."
Germany injury problems dismissed by Joachim Löw as Portugal test arrives
"I believe we are well prepared," he said. "We can draw on a lot of quality and talent and the task now is to perform to a high level over four weeks. We did well in 2010 but with a number of players appearing in their first tournament we couldn't quite keep it up.
"This time our priority is to focus on the title, try to reach the final match, and to do that we will need to use the whole squad. I think we can make it really far in this tournament but we need to keep going for the duration, you cannot win a title with just four or five good games."
(On reports that a drone has been spotted over French camp) "I didn't see anything like that at our training camp," he said, on being informed of the French claim. "It wouldn't be a major concern for us anyway. Such an action would not necessarily reveal any team strategies."
Das sagt Löw vor dem WM-Auftakt gegen Portugal - 15 June 2014
Live ticker from Jogi's FIFA press conference this afternoon.
Other points:
All players are 100% fit. Manuel Neuer confirmed he is ready to play.
"Now the World Cup really starts," he said "The World Cup voltage increases. The players are really focused on the game."
Jogi again spoke of a "first 14" being important.


In this interview with ZDF, 14 June 2014, Jogi talks about Cristiano Ronaldo and team selection.

Joachim Löw: "Was macht Ronaldo" - another video from ZDF

And, right, Jogi is interviewed by ARD


At his first press conference since arriving in Brazil, 12 June 2014, Joachim Löw spoke of his Portuguese opponents, and in particular Cristiano Ronaldo.

Löw: Germany can deal with Ronaldo

Germany coach Joachim Low intends to field captain Philipp Lahm in midfield in their opening FIFA World Cup fixture against Portugal on Monday to allow Jerome Boateng to focus on stopping Cristiano Ronaldo. Low made no attempt to play down the special attention he is paying to the Real Madrid forward, while lavishing praise on a side he says Germany must take very seriously.
The German coach sounded cautious ahead of the key tournament game but said he "can't wait" for the action to commence.
"We're up against a side who are right behind us in the world rankings, and they are the world champions when it comes to the counter-attack," Low said. "Look at the class they have got - Portugal are definitely tough opponents."
"They have always gone a very long way in tournaments, reaching the semis in 2006, and the semis in the last European Championships when they were just one penalty kick short of sending Spain home."
Low added: "You could see Portugal as a finalist, with the likes of (Joao) Moutinho, Nani and Ronaldo up front, then (Bruno) Alves, Pepe and (Fabio) Coentrao all experienced guys at the back. They all play at the highest level and there is no other side in the world who know how to defend while preparing their next attacks the way Portugal do."
With all that in mind, Löw is planning to take a defensive approach and confirmed that Lahm will play as a defensive midfielder with his Bayern Munich team mate Boateng, a central defender by trade, playing on the side of the field where Ronaldo is expected to be lurking.
"It does play a role who can keep Ronaldo in check, and Jerome Boateng has done that in the past," Löw said. "So too has Lahm so together they will deal with him.
"You cannot let him out of your sight, literally. You've always got to ask 'what's Ronaldo doing, where is Ronaldo'.
Germany's Manuel Neuer will start against Portugal as shoulder recovers
"Manuel Neuer took part in training and he is ready to go on Monday," Low said.
"We've played the Portuguese a couple of times already at these tournaments. We have monitored and analyzed them intensively. Portugal thrive on a strong Cristiano Ronaldo. If he plays, we'll have means to stop him. But we've already experienced that Portugal have very strong defensive players. They're a very strong side. They were in the semifinals in 2012 and are always around the top ten teams." - Jogi is quoted on bundesligafanatic.com from his press conference on 5 June 2014

Joachim Löw: 'Portugal are reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo' - 15 May 2014

"Cristiano Ronaldo justifiably won the Ballon d'Or for his performances last year; he seemed to score two or three goals in almost every game he played in, including for Portugal," Low told DPA.
"In the playoff with Sweden he decided everything himself, pretty much. Although they have other good players, Portugal are very dependent on Cristiano Ronaldo."
The dpa interview can be seen on my youtube channel.

Ghana, 21 June 2014 >

Last updated 6 July 2014
With thanks to everyone on the Group for their help and support, especially Silke, Lucille, Susanne, Elfriede, Natascha and Ines.
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