Leon Goretzka: I’m very grateful

The last time a German men’s team took part in the Olympic Games football tournament, Leon Goretzka was not even born. In Seoul, South Korea, the DFB-Team, with future world champions Jürgen Klinsmann, Thomas Häßler and Karlheinz Riedle, achieved the bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics.

Today, around 28 years later, Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer would like to write the next chapter in Germany’s Olympic football history in Brazil. Both Knappen were recently called up by manager Horst Hrubesch to the squad in Rio. Germany’s tournament will begin on the 4th August in Salvador with a game against Mexico.

When I think of the Olympics, it has heroic connotations.

Leon Goretzka

The second group game will also be played in Salvador. On the 7th August, the DFB-Team face South Korea. The third and final group game will take place on the 10th August in Belo Horizonte against Fiji. The potential quarter-and-semi-finals will be on the 13th and 17th August, with the final scheduled for the 20th in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium.

Goretzka will wear the captain’s armband in Brazil. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to lead the team,” said the 21-year-old, because “when I think of the Olympics, it has heroic connotations. I think of gold medals, but also of the rich history of the Games. It’s just a chapter in my life I’m incredibly excited for.”

As well as all the excitement, the Schalke midfielder is also feeling the tension to a certain extent. “I am actually a little agitated,” admits Goretzka, who turned to his teammates Junior Caicara and Naldo to find out what to expect from the weather conditions in Brazil this time of year. “They say it’s very bearable.”