Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Westfalenstadion, Dortmund

"Special players have a special farewell."

Lukas Podolski 69'

There could only be one hero tonight, as international football bade goodbye to the irrepressible and unique Lukas Podolski.

Lukas Podolski bows out with signature thunderbolt to light up final match
The perfect send-off - from

Lukas Podolski stunner inflicts first defeat of Gareth Southgate era
Retiring Podolski's thunderbolt sinks England in Dortmund friendly
Perfect farewell for Lukas Podolski as wasteful Three Lions fall to Dortmund defeat

"It's obviously great for him to score the decisive goal against England. I had actually planned to bring him off sooner, but he told me at half time that he wanted to come off shortly before full time. It was good that he was on the pitch. He has always showed 100% determination on the pitch, whether he has started or come on as a substitute. He has unbelievable empathy; he has always brought his love and positive mindset to the team. Lukas has always been very dynamic. He always treated everyone with respect and importance. That's an inexplicably important factor in any team."

Germany coach Joachim Löw praise for special player Lukas Podolski

"Well, it was of course very emotional already the entire day. We have put together a movie for Lukas and we watched it together ahead of the departure.
"All the nice scenes we have experienced all together. And if one would have had the opportunity to wish something for today, it would have been that what actually has happened.
"And so it happened today that Lukas has scored the winning goal in his last international game.
"And on top [of the farewell] with such a brilliant goal. So, I think we are all very happy about this."
"We were very nervous in the first half. We had some young players playing in this structure for the first time and we only had one training session before playing. The game improved in the second half, had more structure and the younger players in attack grew into the game. I think it was good and important for the players to gain experience. We used the space better in the second half. At the start Brandt, Sane and Werner were all very close to each other and they constantly had their backs to goal. After that we stretched the game more and were able to create more space. What Timo did incredibly well, was that he made very good runs going forward and created plenty of space."

England gave us 'a run for our money' - Germany manager Joachim Löw

"Well, in the first half, the boys were very, very nervous," Low said. "We picked younger players.
"It was noticeable that England were playing more intensely, much more vigorously in the tackle especially.
"It took us a while to get used to this and slowly but surely I think our players got used to rhythm.
"I think it was a very good game in the end. It was good to play against opponents that really gave us a run for our money."
Letztes Spiel mit Löws "Sonnenschein"

At the post-match press conference, Jogi also expressed his happiness with Leroy Sane's development "He's played many games in the last few weeks in England and he's done really well. At the beginning it was not that easy for him because he is a young player and he had not played that many seasons in the Bundesliga before, he had not played many international games either. He had a few problems adapting to the leven in England during the first half-a-year. You have to get used to things like the intensity, running strength. fighting spirit and the enthusiasm on the pitch. But he has been doing well and today he had some good moments as well. In some situations he was very dangerous in the box. He still needs to improve a lot and the experience will help him to do that. He is a player who has extraordinary skills and the speed you need on the international stage

Joachim Löw im Interview "Besondere Spieler haben einen besonderen Abschied" - post-match interview with Jogi

Live ticker from

Warum Jogi Löw der perfekte Bundestrainer ist: Die Konstante - and so say all of us!

Match highlights and Jogi highlights

Post-match interview with ARD

DFB post-match press conference

Starting Line-Up:
Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Joshua Kimmich, Antonio Rüdiger, Mats Hummels, Jonas Hector, Toni Kroos, Julian Weigl (Emre Can), Leroy Sane, Lukas Podolski (Sebstian Rudy), Julian Brandt (Andre Schürrle), Timo Werner (Thomas Müller)

Sami Khedira travelled from Italy with an ankle problem, and is sidelined for tonight's match as a precaution.. - 22 March 2017

Training, Sportschule Kaiserau, Kamen, 21 March 2017

Press Conference, German Football Museum, Dortmund, 21 March 2017, with Lukas Podolski

Joachim Löw took second stage as the first DFB press conference of the year began with a video tribute to Lukas Podolski. Entering afterwards, Jogi embraced his long-serving star, the last of the German squad to have made his debut before Jogi took over as Bundestrainer. Lukas will wear the captain's armband tomorrow.

Speaking on his retirement, Jogi said "It's going to be a wonderful moment, but for a sad one as well at the same time. We have come a long way with one another, cleared many hurdles, experienced disappointment but also had the best form of elation that a trainer or a player can experience by winning the World Cup in 2014. The circumstances tomorrow are totally perfect. It's the right surroundings and the right atmosphere in the stadium. So many are coming just for Lukas, he is one of the best players Germany had produced."

And on his memories of Lukas "Lukas will play in his 130th international. He is a world champion, and one of the best players to come out of Germany. The way he has played is totally unique. But he has played a part in something wonderful, and the National team was like a family for him. He has an incredible sense of empythy for other and he makes everyone feel important. A player like that, like Lukas, will be sorely missed."

Coach Löw hails Podolski as one of Germany's greatest

Germany great Lukas Podolski set for perfect sendoff, says Joachim Löw

"He is a unique specimen, no one can really replace him," Löw said. "For me it will be a beautiful moment but a sad one because he was one of the greatest players ever to come out of Germany.
"Lukas and myself have gone a long road together," said Löw, who has coached Podolski for all of his 13 years with the national team as assistant coach and then manager since 2006.
"We have gone over many hurdles, many tournaments, disappointments but also the biggest joy as coach and player with the World Cup victory in 2014. So the stage tomorrow is appropriate. Germany against England is the right atmosphere."
Mesut Özil, Julian Draxler and Mario Gomez are also out of tomorrow's match, in addition to Manuel Neuer. Other than these, the team for tomorrow will be decided after training tonight.

Germany trio Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler and Mario Gomez to miss England friendly

"Neuer has reported injured, it's the same with Ozil and Draxler," said Germany boss Joachim Löw.
"They have minor hamstring injuries but it is too much of a risk to play them. Gomez has a groin injury."

On debutee Timo Werner "I have been following Timo for a while now, since he was at VfB Stuttgart. He is quick, a danger in front of goal and has come on strong at Leipzig. Timo is someone who has what a lot of players don't- he tracks back deep, runs a lot, is quick and is an excellent finisher. If he continues to improve like this then he I think he has a good career in the National team ahead of him."

Germany boss Joachim Löw sees England as a team in transition

Low had expected the Three Lions to challenge for the crown in France and, despite a year of turbulence, believes a positive future lies ahead as Southgate prepares to take charge of his first match since permanently succeeding Sam Allardyce.
"Well, what you can really see is that England are a team in transit, as it were," the Germany head coach said ahead of Wednesday's friendly.
"Their coach has promised for them to play a more modern football, more possession-orientated.
"I watched a re-run of the game against Spain and that was a really strong performance.
"England have some fantastic individual players, very fast off the blocks, very pacy, prepared to take risks on the pitch.
"I think if there is one attribute that I would give is that it's a team in change, a team that is changing."
Low hits out at Man Utd: Schweinsteiger could've helped them!
"He told me that he did all he could to get into the Man United team. He could have helped them," Low told a news conference ahead of Germany's friendly with England in Dortmund on Wednesday.
"I've seen some Man United games where they could have done with a central midfielder, a chief organiser who puts things right.
"I think it is okay for Basti to move to America to experience new things and wind down his career in the MLS. It's a good decision for Basti."
Generally speaking, he believed, the chance to go abroad was always good for a player, and cited Lukas as an example, fora whole new life experience, and thus it was a great idea for Bastian to go to the USA.

Joachim Low suggests Jose Mourinho made a mistake in not using Bastian Schweinsteiger at Manchester United
Schweinsteiger: Löw kritisiert Mou
Others made the Man utd comment a little more personal!

Löw on Podolski's retirement: "A wonderful but sad moment" - a summary of the press conference from

Volles Programm in Kaiserau
Jogi sits at the desk of Sepp Herberger in the German Football Museum (right).

Ankunft in Kamen-Kaiserau - 20 March 2017

Neuer withdraws, Trapp called up
Manuel Neuer has withdrawn from the forthcoming international break due to calf problems.

There was only one new name announced in Joachim Löw's first squad of 2017, RB Leipzig's Timo Werner. - 17 March 2017

The England game will be Lukas Podolski's farewell, and in a statement on, Jogi said "It's great that Lukas will say goodbye in such a wonderful way. It's a worthy farewell, and one that he deserves. Matches against England are always real classics, on top of that in front of the fantastic fans in Dortmund. I assume that there will be a really fantastic atmosphere."

Joachim Löw calls in Timo Werner for games against England, Azerbaijan

"Werner is an interesting and promising young player," Löw was quoted as saying in the DFB statement. "He is very flexible and has consistently played at a high level this season. I am looking forward to welcoming him into our group and being able to observe him."
Also rejoining the squad is Roma defender Antonio Rüdiger, who missed last summer's European championship in France due to a knee injury that he sustained just days before the start of the tournament.
"Antonio has fought his way back, he is in excellent condition again. You would know that he had been injured," Löw said.
After a conversation with Carlo Ancelotti, Jerome Boateng has not been called up to the squad.

Full squad:
Goalkeepers:  Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
Defenders:  Jonas Hector (FC Köln), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke 04),Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich (both Bayern München), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal),Antonio Rüdiger (AS Roma), Sebastian Rudy, Niklas Süle (both 1899 Hoffenheim)
Midfielders/Strikers:  Julian Brandt (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Emre Can (Liverpool), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Mario Gomez (VfL Wolfsburg), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich),Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Andre Schürrle, Julian Weigl (both Borussia Dortmund)Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)

Last updated 23 March 2017.
With thanks to everyone on the Group, especially Susanne, Silke, Lucille, Debbie and Susanne.
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!