Captain Julian Draxler scored a first-half penalty and collected the man-of-the-match award during Germany’s 3-2 Confederations Cup win over Australia – just don’t expect him to shout about it from the rooftops.
Lars Stindl and Leon Goretzka scored their first international goals either side of the Paris Saint-Germain star’s spot-kick and victory would have been achieved by a more handsome margin but for two errors from Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Draxler is skippering Die Mannschaft in Russia after Joachim Low opted to rest a number of his established stars and the 23-year-old told a post-match news conference he is a man who intends to lead by actions and not words.
“I wanted to lead by example and help the team,” he said. “I know the prefaces, I know that [leadership] is important when you play in the national team.
“I’m not all of a sudden someone who is giving speeches in the dressing room. It is something where we all need to work together.”
A goal in either half from Tom Rogic and Tomi Juric left Germany under unlikely pressure at the end of an open contest and Draxler believes his team-mates’ inexperience showed when it came to game management.
“The three points will do us well,” he said. “We were really good in the first half and in the second half we noticed we maybe lacked the experience to get the game over.”
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 19, 2017
Low allowed Draxler to rove in liberally from the left and he caused damage to Australia across the midfield area, as Julian Brandt pinned himself to the right touchline with menace during a dazzling first-half display.
“Of course, he is the captain because he is the player he is,” the Germany boss said of Draxler. “He has a wealth of experience, he was on board in 2014 and 2016.
“So far, his role, which is new for him, he played really well. There is a lot of energy in this team with his presence.
“He is a player who the less experienced players can relate to. They are really seeing him as a role model in many ways.
“He is doing well on the field and off. He can deal with the responsibility intelligently.”
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