In 2006 the World Cup took place in Germany. How much do you remember about it?
Marco Reus : I watched it with friends. There was so much going on at all the ‘fanfests’ and of course I was rooting for our national team.
Did you always believe you would play at the World Cup one day?
Marco Reus : 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.
At the Euros you were shocked by Mario Balotelli and Italy. What did you learn from that experience?
Marco Reus : 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.
Germany have consistently reached the semi-finals in recent big tournaments. What do you need to do to go further this time?
Marco Reus : 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.
Okay, be honest: will Germany win the World Cup?
Marco Reus : Definitely!
And if not Germany, then who else?
Marco Reus : Then still Germany! No, to be honest 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.
Not long now until your first World Cup. And it’s in Brazil! How much are you looking forward to it?
Marco Reus : It’s my first World Cup so I am feeling really motivated. I’m eager to play a big part and start as many games as possible.
What did you think when you saw that Portugal, the USA and Ghana were in your group? Did you think “Oh no, not the group of death again”?
Marco Reus : No, because 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.
Tell us what you think about your three opponents:
Portugal is an extremely strong team, with an outstanding individual player: Cristiano Ronaldo. He can decide a match on his own.
Their 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.
The first match is against Portugal. Do you go for the win or try not to lose?
Marco Reus : No, we want to win every match. It is the first match and we have to be focused and we have to believe in ourselves.
Germany is famous for the belief in its national team. Does the current squad have that same belief?
Marco Reus : Yes, of course. 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.