"There is no fear," Germany's livewire playmaker and tournament top scorer Max Meyer tells UEFA.com, as the FC Schalke 04 prospect starts to enjoy the build-up to the first final of his young career.
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Max Meyer is the latest off Germany's production line of playmaking forwards. Reminiscent in style of the likes of Marko Marin, Thomas Müller and idol Mario Götze, Meyer has got off to an equally auspicious start, and is the UEFA European Under-17 Championship top scorer with three goals in four matches. Germany's No10 spoke to UEFA.com ahead of his debut final on Wednesday in Ljubljana, against reigning champions and old rivals the Netherlands, the very team Götze and Co defeated in the 2009 decider.
UEFA.com: How did you find the match against Poland?
Max Meyer: The semi-final was exhausting and quite hard, so it is actually only now that I am rested that I am realising that we're in the final. It was a really big step and now the joy is starting to come through.
UEFA.com: This is now Germany's third final in four years...
Meyer: This obviously shows that there is a lot of progress in the German youth and the future is bright for Germany. We get a lot of support at club level, and that is where I have really developed my skills, but when you get to play with your national team you pick up new knowledge from the coaches and players here that you might not be able to get at any club.
UEFA.com: You have impressed, and are top scorer. Are you happy?
Meyer: Knowing I have played well gives me a real boost in confidence – this is a stage that people are watching, so it is nice to do well. In the Germany team I am a big fan of Mario Götze, and I know that he too played in this tournament, but there is still a way to go to reach that level, even if our start is the same.
UEFA.com: What have you learned from the tournament?
Meyer: I definitely think you can take a lot from tournaments like this. You play at a high level on the pitch and you get new experiences. The tournament is on television, for example, which is new, and also at my club I rarely have interviews – here I have had a couple of international ones, including my first with UEFA.com! It really makes you realise you're starting a career in football.
UEFA.com: Is this your first final? Are you enjoying the build-up?
Meyer: This is my first final ever, but I am not anxious. I am excited – there is no fear. We have work to do. We have struggled to take chances so far, but the important thing is creating so many opportunities. And, until now, we have always scored at least once, without conceding, so it has worked out well! If we can play like we did against France then we have a great chance.