Low on his sports accident: “it was not so dangerous”

Low on his sports accident: 'it was not so dangerous'

Joachim low arrived in hamburg buoyant and full of beans. And for the first time, in front of the team hotel of the german national soccer team not far from the alster, the 59-year-old gained insight into the whole drama of his sports accident.

In june, low was forced to forego national games for the first time in his 13 years as national coach. But now he is "doing quite well so far," low reassured: "it was a precautionary measure in the summer."

It had happened during weight training, a dumbbell landed on his upper body. "That broke my breastbone. This was not the most serious problem, but an artery underneath was injured. And that has caused a bit of a circulatory problem. It was torn," the national coach described matter-of-factly – and admitted: "so it was not so dangerous, but that was repaired relatively quickly."He said he was now traveling to hamburg "with great anticipation," "because the team was alone in june and i haven’t seen some of the players since march. We have an exciting and interesting week ahead of us," explained low.

The team will not play in the european championship qualifiers until friday against arch-rivals the netherlands in front of their own fans. And three days later in belfast against table-toppers northern ireland. The DFB-elf’s record is impeccable, with three victories so far, and the outlook is excellent. After his involuntarily long summer break, the well-recovered returnee low nevertheless sees a lot of work ahead of him at the start of the european championship season. "All the players have to improve in every position. We know what it takes to be among the absolute best at a european championship," the national coach warned before the start of his 14th season. Year in office as boss.

The rebuilding in the year two after the world cup disaster in russia is far from complete for the 59-year-old. "We might be on the way back to where we used to be. It’s going to take time, it’s not going to happen overnight," low said. "This young team is going to need a bit of experience again, of a sense of achievement. We’re on the way there," said the national coach, who will have to do without his injured top scorer leroy sane for a long time.

As an experienced stabilizer, toni kroos returns to the team after his voluntary june sabbatical. Goalkeeper marc-andre ter stegen is also back in the 22-man squad as an ambitious challenger to captain manuel neuer, including newcomer luca waldschmidt. And for low, too, the unusually long absence from his team is over, after he had to leave the boss role to his assistant marcus sorg in june in weibrussland (2:0) and against estonia (8:0).

"It was very, very difficult for me to be at home. Not being at the national games for the first time is a very, very unusual situation," low said. More nervous than usual on the sidelines, he watched the games on his sofa at home. For the first time in 13 years as national coach, he was not in the stadium for a match. During his suspension in the 2008 european championship quarterfinals against portugal (3:2), he was at least able to watch from a box in basel.

The players, too, found the situation unusual despite the commanding victories. "When the coach is missing, the feeling is different. It’s unusual when he’s missing, because that was the first and only time," said joshua kimmich. His bayern colleague leon goretzka suspects a lot of commitment after lows’ five-month absence: "he’s certainly looking forward to it in particular," he said. And: "of course it’s important that the coach is back. It was an absolute exception that he was absent."

Low has long since finished his regeneration period. "I spent two and a half weeks in sardinia this summer. I’m highly motivated," he said. He loves to create a profile of every player during the summer break so that he can now apply the levers correctly. Compared to september 2018, the record-breaking national coach has totally consolidated his own position. Exactly one year ago, the situation at the then new start in the nations league was still quite precarious for him in the rough turbulences after the russian disaster.

With victories against oranje and northern ireland, which has won four times so far, the european championship ticket can now be virtually secured. The 3:2 in march in amsterdam should serve as a blueprint. "It’s good for the team, of course, because it’s a new formation. And when you win games like against the netherlands, that gives you strength, that gives you energy and belief in yourself," said low.

The away win in holland shortly after the withdrawal of 2014 world champions mats hummels, thomas muller and jerôme boateng, however, also highlighted low’s continuing deficits. "In the second half, we were also shaky and got out of sorts, where we lost our thread and didn’t see our runs anymore. Those were good approaches, where we were clearly shown what we need to work on," low recalled.


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