Training has begun for Joachim Löw and his Germany squad ahead of the defence of their World Cup crown in Russia. Most of the preliminary squad has arrived in South Tyrol, which has been Germany’s temporary home ahead of the last two World Cups.
Germany’s head coach has taken his first press conference and spoken about the fitness of Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng, the training that his squad will undertake and how he will decide the final World Cup squad...
... on Manuel Neuer: "He has to complete the training and show that he has no problems at all. He has trained quite normally with Bayern Munich, he is also fully integrated with us and can fully tolerate all exercises. We see each other day-to-day and talk to each other. If he feels he can perform at 100 per cent, then he can be in Russia. If not, we have to speak in a different direction. As of today, he has no problems at all, even at the highest intensity such as jumps and so on. It looks very good at the moment.”
... on Jerome Boateng: "Jerome isn’t 100 per cent sure if he’ll arrive on Friday. Tomorrow is a final fitness test in Munich, then we’ll decide whether he will arrive tomorrow or in the next few days. He has completed training sessions, has gone in running training and almost back to his limit. We don’t want to make a mistake with such a muscle injury. He’s under constant control with the doctors of Bayern, everything is going according to plan. I won’t name a date, but during the next week he will be able to do part-time in team training."
... on the training structure: "There are currently 19 players here, 16 outfield players and three goalkeepers. I talked to almost every player last week. For the players who were still on club duty last weekend I made the offer that they could arrive two days later. Most players have made use of it. Sami Khedira and Julian Draxler wanted to arrive on Wednesday with the other players. The first two or three days are all about individuality. Now our task is to bring the individual players, who had different loads in recent weeks, to a consistent level. Saturday or Sunday I plan to join the team tactical training."
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... on the final World Cup squad: "At the end, we’ll sit down and talk about it. We didn’t tell anyone that he’s only here on probation. Everyone should have equal opportunities; we don’t want to unsettle anyone. We have to wait as it shows in the past that injuries can happen. On Monday and Wednesday, we plan to play against the U20 team. In a World Cup training camp like this, every player with have unbelievable motivation and wants to prove that he can belong. The decision will be made shortly before the end of our allowed time."