The official website for European football

Goretzka's guide to finalists Germany

Published: Wednesday 16 May 2012, 10.20CET
A crazy keeper, a midfielder who "can run forever" and a DJ striker; captain Leon Goretzka talks through Germany's runners and riders ahead of today's final with the Netherlands.
by Leon Goretzka
from Ljubljana
Goretzka's guide to finalists Germany
Leon Goretzka (R) lines up with team-mates to sing the national anthem. ©Sportsfile
Published: Wednesday 16 May 2012, 10.20CET

Goretzka's guide to finalists Germany

A crazy keeper, a midfielder who "can run forever" and a DJ striker; captain Leon Goretzka talks through Germany's runners and riders ahead of today's final with the Netherlands.

1 Oliver Schnitzler (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, goalkeeper)
He's our No1, and is very important to the success of this team. He's a bit crazy, but goalkeepers have to have this positive craziness to survive, I think. He will help us in the final a lot.

2 Pascal Itter (1. FC Nürnberg, defender)
He is irreplaceable. Not only is he a very good player, but he is a fighter and never gives up, and is happy to go into every tackle, even if he could get hurt.

3 Jeremy Dudziak (Borussia Dortmund, defender)
Jeremy is a street footballer, and it shines through in every match because you can see his excellent technique.

4 Marian Sarr (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, defender)
Always calm on the ball – I don't know how he does it! Even when he's closed down by two or three people he has no problems. When he gets on the ball we are safe.

5 Niklas Süle (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, defender)
He is the most developed physically, obviously, but along with me and Pascal is one of our "three captains" and we're the guys that have meetings with the coach. He is excellent in the air.

6 Nico Brandenburger (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, midfielder)
A key player, because of his stamina. Nico can run forever and he also distributes the ball well. I am very comfortable playing alongside him.

7 Julian Brandt (VfL Wolfsburg, forward)
He is one year younger than the rest of us and is a little shy – he doesn't pipe up in the group like some. But he impresses us all with his skills on the pitch, and has our respect.

8 Leon Goretzka (VfL Bochum 1848, midfielder)
I try to lead by example, giving the instructions on the field and being the playmaker for the team. I look up to the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos.

9 Said Benkarit (Borussia Dortmund, forward)
Although he hasn't been able to show it yet in the tournament, you can count on Said for goals. We rely on him on the pitch, and off it he is the DJ for the team! 

10 Max Meyer (FC Schalke 04, midfielder)
We rely on Max on the field, and he has his own character – he doesn't waste words! He has played well this tournament and we are happy to have him around.

11 Max Dittgen (FC Schalke 04, midfielder)
He was substituted in the first game, but he is a fighter and he came back from that setback. He has skills and will be an important part of the team against the Netherlands.

12 Marvin Schwäbe (Eintracht Frankfurt, goalkeeper)
He's a very important part of the team, despite being back-up. A very calm person, his relaxed mood spreads through the group.

14 Marc Oliver Kempf (Eintracht Frankfurt, midfielder)
One of the midfielders that rotates in with us in the centre, he is similar to Nico – good on the ball, always running and a hard worker.

15 Kevin Akpoguma (Karlsruher SC, defender)
He has a couple of players ahead of him in his position, but nevertheless he is always smiling and in a good mood, lifting team spirits, and when he does play – like against France – he puts in a good performance.

16 Niklas Stark (1. FC Nürnberg, midfielder)
Off the field Niklas is a cool guy, and although he hasn't started yet we all know that when he comes on he will put in a top performance. Always there when you need him.

19 Timo Werner (VfB Stuttgart, forward)
A second player who is a year younger than the rest. Off the field he is crazy, always chatting and cheering us up. On the pitch he is very fast, and a good weapon for us.

20 Marc Stendera (Eintracht Frankfurt, midfielder)
He has played himself into the team with his first display and goal, and is now showing everybody his qualities and having a very good tournament.

22 Felix Lohkemper (VfB Stuttgart, forward)
He is my room-mate on tour, and is a great guy. A really good sense of humour, he always gets the team to smile. He runs a lot, works hard, and always tracks back to help out his team.

Leon Goretzka was speaking to Dan Ross

Last updated: 16/05/12 10.43CET

Related information

Member associations
Team profiles