Berlin: Germany’s versatile attacking midfielders Marco Reus and Mario Goetze are hoping their time to shine in the national team will come at the World Cup in Brazil next month after both players endured a disappointing maiden tournament at Euro 2012.
The 24-year-old Reus and Goetze, 21, are considered the best players of their generation in Germany but they have yet to leave their mark in a major tournament for their country.
“We both want to play, that’s for sure,” Goetze, sitting next to Reus, told a news conference at their northern Italian training camp. “At Euro 2012 I did not have any rhythm. I had been injured prior to that so it was a different situation.”
The Bayern Munich midfielder hade made only a 10-minute substitute appearance at their Euro 2012 quarter-final win over Greece but he seems to have carved out a starting spot since then.
“How often do you get to play in a World Cup? It is something special and we have set ourselves big aims,” said Goetze, who won the domestic league and Cup double with Bayern this season.
Just like Goetze, Reus had also limited playing time two years ago, featuring only in two games.
“I hope to be playing at this tournament because it is as big as it gets,” said Reus, who almost single-handedly led Dortmund to a second-place finish in the league with a superb second half to the campaign where he either scored or set up the vast majority of his team’s goals.
It is difficult to imagine a starting Germany without both players though competition in the crowded midfield is fierce with Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller, Julian Draxler, Lukas Podolski and Andre Schuerrle also in contention.
“The Euro is two years ago and I think I have developed even further,” said Reus. “Now I have the rhythm I need. I am in a good position but it is not in my hands it is up to the coach.”
The Germans will play Ghana, Portugal and United States in their World cup Group G.
Goetze’s ability to play as a striker further enhances his chances of making the starting lineup like Reus, who is expected to charge down the left wing, slicing open opponents defence.
“We both feel well anywhere in midfield. Up front, centre left or right, it is just good that we can play these different positions,” Reus said.
The hot and humid weather in Brazil is expected to impact the Germans’ quick attacking game but that should not be an excuse for anything, said the players.
“Obviously the South American teams have an advantage,” said Goetze. “Conditions for us Europeans are different but they will be the same for every team. I don’t think we should use it as an excuse.”