Teamwork pays off for Germany

Lewis Holtby put Germany's qualification for the finals down to teamwork after sealing their place with victory in Switzerland whilst Bernd Leno praised a "near perfect" first half for his side.

Germany celebrate reaching next summer's U21 finals
Germany celebrate reaching next summer's U21 finals ©Getty Images

Skipper Lewis Holtby played down his starring role in the 3-1 play-off second-leg win in Switzerland which sent Germany to the UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals – despite scoring one and having a hand in the visitors' other two goals. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno pointed to an impressive first-half display while opposite number and Switzerland captain Roman Bürki said it will hurt the 2011 runners-up to miss the final tournament in Israel.

Lewis Holtby, Germany midfielder
It's just fantastic to experience this victory with this great team. I want to thank everyone who made a contribution to this success. It was only possible because we all worked together and helped each other and because we have a very strong will. You can tell from our performance on the pitch that we all get along very well.

Bernd Leno, Germany goalkeeper
Our first half was nearly perfect: we had three chances and scored three goals, efficiency that we were missing in the first leg. Lewis Holtby was outstanding. He showed that he's the leader on the pitch and we are very proud to have him in our team. This match gives us a lot of confidence for the final tournament next year in Israel. We have a great team and we won't be afraid of anyone.

Roman Bürki, Switzerland goalkeeper
We knew how dangerous Germany could be with their set pieces, but we still gave away a lot of free-kicks and were punished for that. When you're two goals behind against such strong opponents, it's going to be really tough. The second half was a bit better. It hurts to miss the final tournament, but Germany definitely deserved to win tonight.

Oliver Buff, Switzerland midfielder
We just made too many mistakes at the beginning of the match and, as we saw, that makes it really difficult at this level. Even when we were three goals behind at half-time, we still believed we could make it and that's why the second half was much better from our point of view.