< Greece, 22 June 2012


Thursday, 28 June 2012

Euro 2012, Semi-Final

"In the changing room the tears are flowing. It is as quiet as a mouse in the changing room, no one is saying a word."

23 June 2012 - 28 June 2012

Germany - Mesut Özil 90' + 2 (pg)
Italy - Mario Balotelli 20', 36'

Germany's Euro 2012 dream ends as they make a semi-final exit.

Ciao! Italians kick Germany out of Euros
Germany come up short in Euro 2012 semi

Andrea Pirlo's velvet touch takes Italy past Germany to place in Euro 2012 final
Joachim Low's Germany juggernaut judders to a halt against Italy

"You can't be impatient," coach Joachim Löw argued plaintively afterwards."It's hard to win a title. Spain waited years - there's nothing between the top sides."
Löw: Germany let down by carelessness
"Twice we were careless and twice we paid the price. After that it was difficult to turn the match against a very good team." a visibly shocked Low told reporters."We conceded the first goal after a cross that should never have happened and we lost our concentration. After that we let in another from a long ball where we should have closed the spaces better."
Low, who led Germany to the Euro 2008 final and a third place at the 2010 World Cup, said other than those two concentration lapses his team fought "bravely" in an effort to get back into the match.
"The air is very thin in the semi-finals and moments of carelessness can decide a game at this level and this is what happened to us," he said."I think we are all very disappointed but football always continues and my players will find motivation to go after new titles."
There is no need to be concerned, despite Euro 2012 exit, says Löw
"Basically, we have had two very good years," he told Ard. "The team has made excellent progress. We lost once again to a strong Italian team. There is no reason to doubt anything." he added.
"We are very disappointed, but we should not make the mistake of questioning everything. The team played a great tournament."
The 52-year-old coach went on to blame his side's defeat on the defensive errors which provided the Azzurriwith an unassailable two-goal lead, but praised their efforts in the second half.
He added: "The goals were scored because of mistakes in our defence. But the [team] showed their heart during the second half. Italy were 2-0 in front (at half-time) so it is hard to turn the match around."
Low also explained his decision to hand Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos his first start of the tournament and bring Lukas Podolski and Mario Gomez back into the team.
"With Toni, I wanted to be stronger in the centre, and limit the midfield axis of (Andrea) Pirlo and (Riccardo) Montolivo," he continued."Gomez had scored three times [in the tournament so far] and was good in training. Lukas was also good in training. We won in the first few games with Podolski and Gomez."
Löw: Talk can't earn you a title
"That's all part of the development of the team. You can't get a title by just talking about it," said the 52-year-old. "Spain had to wait a long time."
"In the second half, we did everything we could to turn the game around. We played with real heart. Apart from the defeat, this tournament was very good and it's a learning process. Playing at this top level with these teams, there is not much between them."
"Just one moment can be decisive as to whether you win or lose. The team has really moved forward in the last two years, we've caught up with lots of nations who were ahead of us and now we're at the same level as the really top teams. We didn't make it today, but there will be a chance in the future."
"The energy was there, we wanted to get to the final and we always felt that, but today, in the first half, we fell behind. That's why we're sitting here and that's why we are disappointed."
Löw said Italy deserved their victory and added the Italians have a chance against defending champions Spain in Sunday's final in Kyiv. "Spain weren't quite as strong in the last few games as they were in 2010," said Löw."I think it will be totally open, the Italians will have the confidence gained from winning against England and now against us.""I have to give the team a compliment, they presented themselves brilliantly at this tournament.""We have the youngest team at the Euros so I see this as very positive. We had two exemplary years and continued our development." - from goal.com

The TV interview from after the game.
Balotelli's Double Sets Up Italy-Spain Euro 2012 Final - Minute by minute recap on the game
Tactical analysis from zonal marking

„Zauberer" Löw - diesmal hat er sich verzockt - and, unsurprisingly, there are those who are quick to criticise.
Aus der Traum: Bundestrainer Joachim Löw hat sich verzockt - Kicker talks of Jogi's 'gamble'.

Löw: "Neue Ziele setzen und angreifen" - the team.dfb.de post-match interview
Löw verteidigt Turnier-Aus und sieht es positiv... - a post-match interview on focus.de

Further interviews with Jogi before and after the semi-final, originally on the Nivea website

Germany give Joachim Löw vote of confidence - The morning after the Italy defeat DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach told Jogi that he should not reproach himself after the run of 15 successive victories came to an end.
"Joachim, you have done a superb job and we are extremely happy to have you as our coach," said Niersbach.

As the team returned home, the media discussions continued in varying degrees of objectivity, a selection can be found in my June 2012 archive.

UEFA Post-Match Press Conference

"We lost our organisation after the first, avoidable, goal and then the second came. We made mistakes and paid the price. In the second half our team showed real heart and tried everything but could not get the goal.
If I look back on the team selection it's easy to say I could have changed something. Mario Gomez scored three goals and has done well in training. I wanted Toni Kroos in the team so he could get among the Italy midfielders. When we conceded the first we couldn't get back into the game for a little while. I had to make some substitutions, I had to risk everything and try something.
We've had two great years, the team has developed very well, winning 15 [competitive] games in a row. We lost today against a very strong Italy team who have a great spine and two quick strikers. They were just a bit better - you have to acknowledge that and they were more clinical than us. Cesare Prandelli has changed this team around; they have more of an offensive philosophy. I expected Italy to play like this; if they take the lead it is very difficult, but we should have got it back to 2-1 earlier.
We still played a great tournament and we have really moved forward. We won four games and lost one. This team has given us a lot of joy, against Portugal, the Netherlands, so we have to give them a real compliment. We have caught up with other nations and at the top of the game - there will be more chances in the future."
From UEFA.com

The press conference can be found on the UEFA website

Training, Municipal Stadium, Warsaw, 27 June 2012

Jogi is interviewed by ZDF and discusses Germany's upcoming opponents.

UEFA Press Conference, Warsaw, 27 June 2012

"We're here where we wanted to be. I think the best four teams are here. These four teams have played the best football. It will be very tight, the teams will be playing at the top level, there's no doubt about this. As it's a semi-final, you do need a little bit of luck to get to the final. We are in a strong position."
(on Italy) "They are very good coming from the back with Cassano and Balotelli they have really classy players and especially Pirlo. He's the one who gives the tactics, the ideas, and directs the game. We have to disturb these players and think of a way how we can do better than them in midfield and must dictate the tempo ourselves."
(on Germany's approach) "We have to be cheeky, confident, but work very hard as well. We won't concentrate on them, we will work on our own game."
(on how Mats Hummels and Holger Badstuber will play against the Italy strikers) "We know how Cassano and Balotelli play but I am convinced my central defenders will cope. We are prepared for that. They have the support of the midfielders and they are both very tactically asute.""You have to form a team that play well together, and work well in all their various positions. We want to show other nations we're at the same level in the actual way we play football. We have been successful. We are a team that don't have to react to the opponents, and play our own game. We're at a level where we don't need to hide from anyone."
Comments thanks to UEFA.com

The press conference can be watched on UEFA.com

England much improved under Roy Hodgson, says Joachim Löw

"The English were much better in this tournament than in 2010," said the Germany coach, whose side confront the Azzurri in the semi-finals on Thursday. "When they played us then in South Africa, they were a team who had a lot of problems."
"Now they are a very well organised team. Roy Hodgson has brought order into the side and has done a great job even in the time he has had. England will develop under him in the next few years and, in the next tournament, they'll play a better role than they did here and certainly than they did in 2010."
Jogi was also asked about previous German encounters with Italy, and recalled watching the 1970 World Cup Semi-Final as a boy.
"But 2006, when they scored so late at the end of extra-time, was a bitter pill," said Löw. "Reaching that final would have been a dream. But those disappointments will not affect this squad, because they are fresh. Our team is perfectly capable of beating any team in the world, so we have to take confidence from that. We're at a level where we don't need to hide from anyone." - from the Guardian

Der Trainer ist der Star - General Anzeiger writes of Jogi's response to a question at yesterday's press conference when asked about articles claiming 'Jogi Superstar' and the fact that he is found sexy. He states the team's success is all he strives for!

"Jogi Superstar" auch ohne großen Titel schon Kult - Nevertheless focus.de declare him the "Liebling einer ganzen Nation"

Jogi hat's in der Hand
And Bild.de has a palmist's forecast!

But possibly the most hysterical article award goes to this Scottish blog, inviting its readers to "Download and create your very own cut-out Joachim Löw". If only life was that simple!

Press Conference, with Miroslav Klose, Gdansk, 26 June 2012

We must win the German way - Löw

"The past doesn't play even the slightest role in our preparations... the Germans have never beaten Italy in a major tournament. So what? This has no effect on our young players. It's not even an issue. People don't even talk about."
Löw went on: "We will have to try and take the game to the opposition, to play to our own rhythm and win the German way."
"We know where Italy stand. They have excellent strengths, lots of qualities. But we also know where their difficulties are and where they might have problems. What will be important is whether we take our game to the opposition, not vice-versa. If we manage to do that, to maintain a higher level of concentration, to be solid at the back, if all of these factors converge then with a bit of confidence we will win."
Löw calls for Germany to impose themselves on Italy
"We did well against Greece but Italy are a different proposition," said Germany coach Joachim Löw, who urged his players to "seize the initiative" in Thursday's semi-final.
Löw shrugged off an indifferent record against the Azzurri. Germany have lost all their competitive meetings, including two World Cup semi-finals - the most recent on home soil in 2006.
"Our players are different now, they don't care about a past match," said Löw, adding that it was "quite possible" that he would make more changes to his team after making three for the Greece tie.
We need Schweinsteiger says Germany's Löw
"Obviously he can do things better than against Greece (in the 4-2 quarter-final win) but we need Bastian," Löw told reporters on Tuesday."He is an emotional leader for us. He has matured unbelievably in the last three years or so. I think it is important for our team when Bastian Schweinsteiger is there."
"Bastian has the stamina needed. Maybe he was lacking a bit of mobility against Greece but it is extremely important for us when Bastian is on the pitch.""He is as confident as we need him to be," said Löw.
Löw: Man marking Pirlo would be useless
"He [Pirlo] is having a bit of a renaissance. He is an outstanding footballer and a brilliant strategist. Man marking is useless with him because he drops deep so often," Löw said in a press conference.
"[Italy can play] 3-5-2 or 4-4-2. We have to familiarise and prepare for both systems. We want to keep our own rhythm. Italy have developed enormously since 2010. They have shown a lot of quality at the Euros. We must bring our own game to the field and not cater to our opponent."
"No player will play if he is only 95 per cent fit. He [Schweinsteiger] had some problems with his passes against Greece but he is self-critical. He has trained hard and I maintain that all players are fit to play.He is very confident and we will need him because he is important."
"I don't want to base my line-up on the result of the last game but instead of what I need against the next opponent. Italy are a completely different animal [than Greece]."
The Germany coach also eased the pressure on his team by stating that Spain remain the most likely side to lift the title but that Portugal would provide staunch opposition.
"Spain are the favourites. Portugal are contenders as well and one of the best counterattacking teams. Even Spain are going to find it difficult against them but Spain have one of the best defences."
Germany not out for revenge after '06 'trauma'
"No game has anything to say to us. Not the old ones and not the one in 2006," a relaxed Löw said on Tuesday.
"In football there is no such thing as revenge. The past plays absolutely no role for us or for our young players who may know things only from history," said the 52-year-old.
(On Italy having two days' less rest than Germany)  "I do not think it is a drawback for them," said Low. "Four days is enough to recover and I did not see them tired. Quite the opposite, it was the England players who looked tired after a certain stage."
"Every professional player who takes care of himself should be able to recover 100 percent in four days. So I do not think they will still be suffering from that game.
Live ticker from the press conference from welt.de

Löw: The time has come for Germany to beat Italy
"It is true that we have always found it difficult against the Italians, but this time will be different. The time is now ripe to win against Italy," Low told Welt Online."I've been thinking of February 2011, when we played a 1-1 draw with the Italians. What we have experienced and seen here is the new Italy. This does not have much in common with the Italy of before. The Italians have changed to a completely different style under Cesare Prandelli.
They are now playing much more aggressively then you would expect from an Italian team.
Prandelli once said that they must be oriented towards the German team, playing offensively and with a change in the age structure, to use more young players. And he has succeeded in this, so there is no definite favourite for the semi-final. Italy is a very stable team with a continuing good defence and now a strong attack."
Löw remained coy over whether he will make any changes to his side, but suggested that there could be a surprise in store.
"There is a match plan of course. We will play our game and not change dramatically. Against Italy it will be crucial that we take our own game and execute our philosophy.The question is: which players are suited to this? I wonder now: what weaknesses do Italy have? And who among us can take advantage? Let yourself be surprised."
"Die Zeit ist reif, gegen Italien zu gewinnen" The original article on focus.de. He also talks of the outstanding penalty from Andrea Pirlo in the quarter-final, Mario Balotelli, the championship so far, team selection and his dislike of an over-cautious approach to coaching!

As the final week of Euro 2012 begins, Jogi has been the talking point in many an article.
Here are a few of my favourites!

Germany boss Joachim Low says listening to Amy Macdonald helps him relax between games - and Amy it would appear is a fan in return!

A New Take on Germany - describes Jogi as "Zen master coach Joachim Löw - the George Clooney of international soccer, only better looking, and seemingly more humble and philosophical."
The Ideas Man With a Plan For Germany "His penchant for tight, sometimes shiny, monochrome shirts - both collarless and button-down - suggest his natural habitat might be an art gallery rather than a soccer pitch." says another article from the US.
Agent 007 Joachim Löw - says this Slovakian website!
An Irish blogger names Jogi as his 'Man of the Day' - 'What's not to like about Jogi Löw' he says.

Jogi Löws kurioser Weg zur Trainer-Lizenz - how Jogi got his coaching licence
Der Trainer wird zum Star from Frankfurter Allgemeine
Bild erklärt die private Seite von Liebling Löw - Bild and some facts you never knew about Jogi!

And it's not just the football press:
Frauerzimmer.de declares him "one of the men with the most sex appeal in the country", in their article Alle lieben Joachim 'Jogi' Löw
And Jogi, We Löw you - the accompanying video to the article!
and retail business blog heiler.com suggests that at "every Championship only two questions are asked. First, why the hell does the referee whistle offside only for my team? Secondly, where does Jogi Löw get his cool shirts from?"

< Greece, 22 June 2012

Last revised 30 October 2017
With thanks to everyone on the Group for their help and support, especially Silke, Fanny, Maren, Denise and Rocio. Thanks also to @DFBfansworldwide
See my Index Page for photograph credits.  Also thanks to UEFA.com
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!