Monday, June 24, 2024

We aren´t here on holiday insists Germany´s Neuville

SoccerNews in Bundesliga, European Championships 3 Jun 2008


Veteran Germany striker Oliver Neuville may be back home at the team's Euro 2008 training camp in Tenero, Switzerland, but his side are already getting down to business.

Germany arrived in Switzerland on Tuesday and head coach Joachim Loew put his players through their paces with a light training session at their Euro 2008 base in the idyllic south Swiss town flanked by the picturesque Alps.

Both striker Miroslav Klose, who injured an ankle in Saturday's 2-1 final warm-up win over Serbia, and defender Marcell Jansen, who picked up a leg injury against the Serbs, took part in training.

And for Neuville, who grew up here in the nearby town of Ascona, where the team are staying, the Germans are here only for the serious business of winning Euro 2008 when they open their campaign on Sunday against Poland.

“We are not here on holiday,” said Neuville, 35, who scored in Germany's 2-1 win over Serbia on Saturday in their final warm-up.

“If we have an afternoon free, I will show the boys Ascona.

“I know Tenero very well, I had my first training camp here with FC Locarno.

“The conditions here are outstanding and perfect for getting on with the job in hand.”

Having flown here on Tuesday from Frankfurt after a two-day break following Saturday's final warm-up win, the 23-man squad are based here for the entire tournament before flying to Klagenfurt, Austria, for Sunday's opening Group B game.

And after Saturday's goal-scoring performance, Neuville is putting pressure on his fellow strikers Miroslav Klose, Mario Gomez, Kevin Kuranyi and Lukas Podolski for a place in the side.

“Before the last World Cup, I was also fourth or fifth choice striker and I accept I have to take my chances if I come off the bench,” said Neuville, who has 68 caps.

This European Championships is Neuville's third tournament and he is proving to be Germany's joker in the pack – with valuable goals in key matches when he comes off the bench.

At the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, Neuville grabbed the all-important goal on Germany's last sixteen win 1-0 over Paraguay just before the final whistle as his side went onto reach the final.

And he scored the crucial goal in the 2006 World Cup group stage 1-0 win over Poland in Dortmund four years later when Germany finished third.


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