Germany coach Joachim Low has reiterated his gratitude for the solidarity shown to his players on the night of the Paris terror attacks – but insisted it will not be a factor in Thursday’s Euro 2016 semi-final in Marseille.
It was November 13, 2015 when a series of atrocities were carried out across the French capital – killing 130 people – with one bomb set off outside the Stade de France where France were hosting the world champions in an international friendly.
When it became apparent after the final whistle that the players’ safety would be compromised if they left the venue, both teams camped down on mattresses at the ground with the French team refusing to leave until their German counterparts had been cleared to depart.
Low said: “The French really helped us where they could on that night. They waited until we left the stadium, they cared about us and that showed the good relations between the players who know each other, who play together at their clubs.
“But this rivalry, in the semi-final, is gigantic. Both sides want to get to the final so this won’t play a role on Thursday.
“That said, we do really appreciate the French team after what happened on that night as they did a lot.”
Low played down his side’s tag of favourites and cited hosts France’s huge support as one reason to be fearful.
“I don’t think we are favourites,” he added. “We won’t just play against France but also a country.
“After the win against Iceland, they are very confident. We have felt it and that energy was taken on by the nation.
“I don’t think there is a favourite but that’s not important. Both sides have a lot of quality and the key will be who commits the fewest errors, who gets the most chances and who is the most efficient in taking those chances.”