Timo werner: he is still looking for his role in the dfb team

Timo werner: he is still looking for his role in the dfb team

Timo Werner is visibly and audibly pleased as he rides his bike into Adi Dassler Stadium. On Saturday mornings, small fields were marked out and nets set up where the German national team is training in its European Championship quarters. "Cool, soccer tennis," exclaims Werner.

Every soccer player loves to work with the ball in training, but the 25-year-old Werner is also fully committed to all other units in the training camp. The striker wants to do everything for a good tournament – but he also knows that he has to do everything for it. That he has something to prove to the public and especially to national coach Joachim Low.

Werner: "Have improved in many areas"

A year ago, he moved from RB Leipzig to Chelsea FC for 53 million euros, and like so many professionals before him, he didn't have an easy first year in the Premier League. "I had a lot of ups and downs," says Werner. The season started well, then came a slump, from which he slowly worked his way out – not so much by scoring a lot of goals, as he had been known to do until then, but by scoring assists. And in the end, the Champions League victory outshone everything anyway.

"I've been able to learn a lot and have improved in many areas," says Werner. He had become more robust, for example, he had to become in England. "But I also have to say self-critically: It should have been the one or other goal more."Positive: Werner got into the right spaces, got to completions. Negative: They lacked the coolness to make the most of it. Such seasons exist as a striker.

Unhappy performances in national team as well

But you shouldn't necessarily have them before a major tournament. Werner has also had some unfortunate performances with the national team; in the 1:2 draw against northern Macedonia, for example, he missed a tremendous chance to score the winning goal when the score was 1-1. Asked about his status in Germany's elite squad three days before the opening game against France (Tuesday, 9 p.m./ZDF), he first pauses for a long time – and then admits: "At the moment, I'm more at the back, I'm not in the starting eleven."Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and Kai Havertz played there initially in the most recent test matches – and provided many arguments to keep it that way.

That's how it is with the national team: 26 professionals come together, all of whom are top performers at their clubs. And 15 of them will then sit on the substitutes' bench for the first time at the start of the tournament. For success at a major tournament, it is then all the more important how these 15 behave: Do they sulk and dampen the mood? Or do they step on the gas in training, keep the level high, push the regulars and be there when they're needed? In short: present himself as Timo Werner does very tidily and credibly?

Most effective in the starting eleven

"I'm not one to then sit in the stands with my arms folded and sulk," he says. German coach Joachim Low is spoilt for choice, especially for the attacking front three: two players from current Champions League winners Chelsea FC and three from last year's winners Bayern FC alone are vying for places. "The tournament is long, if we make it far, then everyone is needed," says Werner. "Of course you always want to play, but is a team tournament. We want to win as a team, and that's why we put ourselves at the service of the team."

However: Werner has not yet made a big appearance as a joker in his career. He usually scored his goals when he was in the starting eleven. "I wasn't allowed to prove myself so often in the joker role, I often played from the beginning," Werner says with a smile. "So maybe that's why I'm not as skilled at it."

He will get plenty of opportunities at this tournament.

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