Germany have won many admirers here at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ with their stylish play and attacking posture. FIFA caught up with coach Joachim Low to discuss the success his side have achieved so far, his philosophy on football and his hopes ahead of the semi-final with European champions Spain in Durban.
FIFA: Is it possible to enjoy the success you've achieved so far?
Joachim Low: As a coach you enjoy it when you stand at the edge of the pitch and you are winning 2-0 or 3-0, knowing that the game is already decided. This produces a kind of 'inner joy', but there isn't much time to enjoy it in the tournament as you always have to think ahead. We still have important tasks ahead of us. Being satisfied with what we have achieved so far isn't enough. We have to look ahead to our match against Spain – we must win that game to reach the Final.
You have been working with the team for a few years now. How much of your influence would you say is evident in the side?
We coaches are only giving the instructions, but it's the players who are on the pitch. My players play with incredible motivation and an incredible will to do things well. Up to now we've been very happy with the way we are playing, with our attacking style and the risks we are taking. I also think that the supporters like that – when a team doesn't play for a certain result but keeps on playing a more attacking style of football.
People are praising your team for both the contributions of the older players and the younger ones.
The older players are very important. The young players can lean on veterans like Arne Friedrich, Philipp Lahm or Miroslav Klose when things don't go smoothly. They show the way and are playing a tremendous tournament so far. They have been playing a great game, and also off the pitch they have shown a professional and exemplary attitude.
Spain are one of the strongest teams in the tournament. How do you prepare for them?
I don't think we should change our way of playing, which has been successful so far. You have to force the Spanish team to make mistakes because they hardly make any themselves. They are very confident in their way of playing, so we have to give them some problems. Being passive will not help us in this game.
Is the FIFA World Cup within your reach?
We are not talking about the title, or winning the World Cup. We are now talking about winning the semi-final and going to the Final – one step at a time. Spain will be difficult and they are my favourites to win. Once we have made it past this hurdle, we can then start talking about the title.