Lars Bender has described scoring the winning goal for Germany in their final Group B match against Denmark as a ‘very special experience’.
The 23-year-old was making his first start for his national side, having replaced the suspended Jerome Boateng at left back.
“I think I need some time to realise what happened,” Bender said.
“Yesterday (Sunday) it was a very special experience for me to be in the starting team. Of course yesterday’s goal was awesome for me.”
Bender is hoping his performance against the Danes may see him come under consideration for more first-team action.
“I do not know if the coach knows now that I am the right player. After yesterday’s match he might be certain,” he said.
“He relied on me before the tournament and hopefully yesterday I repaid the trust.
“That was a completely new experience for me because I was playing in that position for the first time.”
Bender’s winning strike solidified Germany’s place at the top of the group table, setting up Friday’s quarter-final against Greece.
“We know about the political situation in Greece. The football gives Greece a chance to celebrate and to forget what’s happened in the past,” Bender said.
“But I think the political situation is not so important in this moment. I am sure that we can forget politics at that the match-day and will be focused on football.”
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