Germany’s Marco Reus burst on to the world stage at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine helping his country to the semi-finals. In 2014 the Borussia Dortmund forward aims to go one better and help the Germans deliver their first silverware since Euro 96, and a first world crown since Italia 90. Reus says he always believed he would play at the FIFA World Cup™, “Yes of course, you have to believe in yourself. It’s vital not just in football but also in day-to-day life. You also need a bit of luck, you need talent and determination. But you definitely need belief that is for sure.”
Two years ago, Reus and his teammates were at the wrong end of a strong Italy performance at Euro 2012 in the semi-finals. Reus remembers the feeling, “It was my first European Championships and it was my first insight into what the feeling is like to be part of something like that. Of course I was thrilled to be there, but it wasn’t an entirely positive experience because we didn’t make it to the final. Italy was just the better team that day. It’s something we’ve had to accept. For me as a younger player, it was a big learning curve.” Since hosting the World Cup in 2006 Germany has reached at least the semi-finals of four major tournaments ina row and Reus believes the time is right for his country to go all the way, “We need just a little bit more determination I think, which is especially important at the World Cup. The determination to go a step further than we have done in the past. At the World Cup you have to give that little bit extra. You need to make every second count and be prepared to do more than other teams. That’s what makes the difference.”
As much as the German would love nothing more than World Cup glory, he admits there are several strong contenders, “There are many good teams taking part. Brazil, being the host nation, is one of the favourites and I think they could go far. Then there is Italy and Spain and plenty of other important football nations. It will be exciting to see which teams play well and who gets furthest but I am optimistic that Germany will be one of the front runners.” Germany are in a very tough Group H with Portugal, Ghana and the United States of America, but Reus is not intimidated, “There are so many incredible teams at the World Cup. That is the group that we are in, but I believe we will be very well prepared and our optimism will shine through. Portugal is an extremely strong team, with an outstanding individual player: Cristiano Ronaldo. He can decide a match on his own. Their (USA) manager Jürgen Klinsmann has lots of experience and he has built a solid team. As we saw at the World Cup in 2006, he can take teams far in a tournament. There won’t be an easy opponent. Ghana is also a difficult opponent that always makes life difficult.”
At the end of the day, Reus stresses that self-belief is a factor that could make or break a team’s World Cup hopes and, he says, Germany have plenty of it, “As a footballer it is vital, whether it’s belief in yourself, your team or the national team. Every team has to have the belief that they can win. Even if things are going badly. If you are 1-0 or 2-0 down, you have to believe that in 15 or 20 minutes you can turn it around. If you don’t believe in yourself you are wasting 15-20% of your potential. A lot of it is in the mind. But you shouldn’t need to convince yourself because belief should always be there. And that is certainly the case for the Germany national team.”
Germany kick off their World Cup campaign on June 16th against Portugal in Salvador.