′We′re not here to go on holiday′ | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 12.06.2015
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'We're not here to go on holiday'

Despite the fact that even just a moderate performance will likely be enough to beat under-powered Gibraltar on Saturday, the Germans say they are definitely not relaxing. Well, maybe just a little bit.

Shkodran Mustafi is standing at the press buffet, gulping down an orange juice and hoping no-one notices him. He's in training gear: sweaty with a towel hanging around his neck.

"I've just come from a gym session," he says as Joachim Löw walks past in his fitness gear. Access to the back of the hotel and the pool is not allowed. "We're not here to go on a holiday," Mustafi says, with a slight sense of annoyance in his voice.

"We don't get much of an idea of the holiday scene here. It would be different if there was loud music booming at the pool or something. But that's not the case."

You could be mistaken for thinking otherwise though. The DFB team are staying at Hotel Conrad Algarve, a new hotel with wonderful grounds and lots of security. The pools along the front driveway are stunning, the Porsches in the turning circle are embossed with the hotel name. One can only imagine what things look like out the back.

Hotel Conrad Algarve

The driveway up to the Hotel Conrad Algarve; nothing relaxing to see here

Resting but focused

Even though Germany are just coming off a disappointing loss to the US, it seems like no-one here is planning extra training sessions in the hot Portuguese sun. Germany coach Joachim Löw says its all alright.

"It's important not to push the players too hard here," he explains. "They need to have their energy at top levels for the game. The final training will be short too."

In contrast: Gibraltar, their opponents, have trained on Thursday, and put in a session on Friday morning too, before their final run out in Estadio Algarve on Friday evening.

Löw says that, first and foremost, he wants his team to enjoy the game. Over the last few days he has mentioned time and time again that the players need to be more hungry for goals and that they need to find better ways to attack, especially now that so many teams are set up so defensively against Germany.

"We want to score goals tomorrow, and we want to do it early. Otherwise, we know that the opponent just grows and grows," Löw warns. Other questions about who could pose a danger from the Gibraltar side are politely ignored.

The end of the season

But there is no denying that the players are excited about the end of the season coming up. A few tweets from the players from their super hotel, shows that they are quite enjoying the sunny surrounds. It's understandable, after the hectic World Cup and a long European season.

While Löw says he is "looking forward to taking two or three weeks off," Sami Khedira also admitted at the pre-game press conference that he'll be doing some fun stuff to recharge mentally too, after a difficult season at Real Madrid.

But, knowing that a holiday is coming up isn't necessarily a bad thing anyway. After all, it means the players don't need to hold themselves back.

"It's our last 90 minutes before our holiday, so we are going to give it our all," he says with a grin. That's the last thing that Gibraltar's team of bankers and electricians wanted to hear.