Berlin – Aside from the 2006 World Cup quarter final, in which they overcame Argentina after a penalty shootout, it has not always been a good luck charm for Die Mannschaft. Only two of the last eight international have resulted in wins for Germany in the stadium (four draws, two wins) with the last game they played here being the 3-2 loss to England in March 2016. Also written in the history books for the wrong reasons is the 4-4 draw Germany played out against Sweden in October 2012 despite having had a 4-0 lead at one stage. Whether or not the upcoming game against Brazil (27/03/18) will add to this run of unsuccessful games in the Germany capital is yet to be seen. For one player however, this game is extra important. Hertha player Marvin Plattenhardt speaks about the upcoming international tie, his World Cup chances and the Bundesliga run-in.
herthabsc.de: Marvin, on Tuesday evening at 20:30 CST, Germany meet Brazil in Hertha’s home ground. How much are you looking forward to the tie?
Marvin Plattenhardt: It will be great. Even though it is a friendly, it is still a very important tie that we are all looking forward to. For me it is obviously even more special that the game is in the Olympiastadion. My family and a lot of friends will be there. You also don’t get to play against players like Coutinho, Marcelo and Jesus every week, so it will be a great challenge.
herthabsc.de: After the game against Spain, Joachim Löw lauded your performance, guaranteed you game time against Brazil and spoke positively about your World Cup chances. How much do you read into the words of the national coach?
Plattenhardt: As a player of course it is nice to hear that kind of thing. In terms of my performance however, it won’t really change a lot. I will still give my all in every training session and in every game to show the coach that he can rely on me. There is no reason to let up now. In May, if he decides to take me to Russia then I will be over the moon but until then I need to keep my performances up at Hertha.
herthabsc.de: Should Germany walk off the pitch against Brazil having not lost that would break a 37-year-old record: 23 games in a row without defeat. Do the players look at these kinds of statistic?
Plattenhardt: We know that we can break the record but by no means is it our focus. We want to give a good performance and win if we can or if not gain some valuable experience.
herthabsc.de: The 7-1 victory over Brazil in the semi final of the 2014 World Cup still cuts deep in their memory, especially given the reaction of their home crowd. Are you hoping your opponents will come into the game especially motivated?
Plattenhardt: Brazil will no doubt come into this game fully motivated but not in spite of that 7-1 defeat because they know that a win on Tuesday wouldn’t cancel out that semi final defeat from four years ago. It is an international tie between two huge footballing nations in a World Cup year. There will be new players on both teams and me and my teammates are going into the game knowing that this Brazil side are stronger than they were four years ago – even if Neymar isn’t fit.
herthabsc.de: You have been in the national squad for nearly a year now. Tell us, what have you learn from your time there and how is your role shaping up?
Plattenhardt: I am incredibly happy to have been a part of this team. Every kid dreams of playing for his country. I can only repeat how proud it makes me to be a part of it. I feel really comfortable in the team, the atmosphere is great and the teamwork between the coaches and backroom staff is at the highest level. With just five caps under my belt I wouldn’t consider myself a seasoned professional but my goal is to add to that tally and become one.
herthabsc.de: Looking forward now; four days after the match against Brazil, the Bundesliga returns. On Saturday (31/03/18, 20:30 CEST) Hertha will play against VfL Wolfsburg. How will you be looking to give the fans a nice Easter surprise?
Plattenhardt: We need to play like we did in the second half against Hamburg, being decisive and consistent at the back, then with tempo and menace going forward. It’s about time that we win again at home and two wins in a row would also be a great sign going into the closing stages of the Bundesliga. We want to finish in the top half of the table and to do that we need points.