part of my Magazine Articles Section

A selection from the build-up to Euro 2012

An Interview in World Soccer's Euro 2012 Special:

How do you feel about your group phase? The "group of death" tag seems apt...

On the face of it, we have been drawn in the toughest group of them all. Holland and Portugal both have many world-class individuals and our games with them are going to be real duels; matches, dare I say it, with a do-or-die quality. As for Denmark, they have, over the years, proved themselves to be a competent tournament team. They don't fear big names and have nothing to lose. That makes them dangerous and unpredictable. I'd go as far as to say that every side in Group B has a reasonable chance to go through.

You totally outclassed Holland 3-0 in a friendly in November. Does that give you a psychological edge?

On the night we played exceptionally and obviously took many positives from the game. The Holland we meet in June will be a stronger, more convincing one, I'm sure.

Can such a highly competitive group be turned to your advantage?

Of course. It's certainly no bad thing to face a stiff challenge straight away. Games against Portugala nd Holland are a truly demanding start. I';m not sure that Germany have ever had such a tough first two fixtures in a tournament. But the other side of the coin is that motivation will not be a problem. Every player knows full well that every game in the first round will have a great deal riding on it. There will be no margin for error. In any case, we are used to battling through the opening phase of a competition. At both Euro 2008 and the last WorldCup we only secured qualification in the last of our three matches, winning effective "Finals" against Austria and Ghana. So we know how to live with the pressure of finding a way through a closely matched group.

Does your perfect record in qualification pose any problems? Complacency perhaps?

I've no worries at all on that score. The squad I have is hungry, driven and very much focused on the goal of winning a trophy. No-one here is under the illusion that the job ended with qualification.

Germany are thought of as one of the favourites and confidence is high in the country that you can do it...

After doing so well in qualification expectations did go through the roof. But the draw has, I think, dampened the euphoria a little. There's more realism among the public now. Anything can happen in a tournament. A shot on target or not can make all the difference and so can injuries. Like all the coaches, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed the lads are fit after a long, strenuous season. Of course winning Euro 2012 is a legitimate object for a team with so much self-confidence, footballing quality and a desire to make a mark. Without that belief you will not go far. I think we've comprehensively proved in recent years we are one of the best sides in the world. We're much more consistent that we were two or three years ago, more solid, more automatic in our combination play.

What are your strengths?

One of the biggest things for me is to see how we've developed into a real team, one which has togetherness running right through it. No player solely looks out for himself. Everyone helps everyone else, and when new guys are introduced they settle in amazingly quickly. Team spirit became very strong during the World Cup in South Africa and this continues to serve us very well.

An outatanding crop of young players has come through.

They are fundamental to what we do. They bring freshness, enthusiasm, great skills, audacity. They are desperate for success and simply love coming together to play high-tempo, attacking football. They are so full energy I sometimes need to put a brake on them.

Could Euro 2012 be a shoot-out between Spain and yourselves?

Spain are outstanding but far from the only candidate for the title. The Dutch have an excellent side. I've always had the greatest respect for the abilities of the Portuguese, France are improving and England should not be discounted.

Star Sammel Karten Stickerbook

And the Euro 2012 excitement spilled out into the mainstream women's weekly magazines, with Frau Aktuell letting us into Jogi's secret passion (a 7€ turkey snitzel with potatoes and salad, that is).

Seine heimliche Leidenschaft kostet nur 7€!

Deutschland liebe ihn: Von Fußball-Bundestrainer Jogi Löw(52) schwärmen die Männer - und immer mehr Frauen! Kein Wunder. Er macht ja auch eine tolle Figur, sieht toll aus. Und ist bei allem Erfolg bescheiden und nett geblieben.

Bodenständig ist er auch. Immer wieder reist Joachim Löw in sein badisches Heimatdorf Schönau. Da besucht er Mutter Hildegard. Ein schöner Grund - uber nicht der einzige. Denn in Schönau bei Feiburg wartet auch seine heimliche Leidenschaft. Und die kostet nur 7 Euro! Im Vereinsheim seines alten Fußballclubs TuS Schönau wird herzhaftes Putenschnitzel mit Pommes und Salat serviert. Das hat der Jogi hier schon vor über 20 Jahren gegessen. Damals mit seiner großen Liebe Daniela (50). Die ist heute seine Frau und achtet auf seine Figur. Denn da muss sie bei ihrem Jogi wachsam sein. Der ist nämlich eine Naschkatze. "Bei Schokolade kann ich nicht widerstehen. Früher habe ich vier Tafeln am Tag verputzt, heute esse ich nur noch wei. Und dazu Gummibärchen...."

Wie gut kennen Sie Joachim Lö;w?

and from Frau im Spiegel, the ultimate. A Jogi-crossword! (click on thumbnail left, and use your browser to enlarge if necessary)

Last updated 12 February 2014

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