One of the more influential factors in the German Nationalmannschaft's 1-1 draw with Spain was a 26-year-old earning his first international cap. Atalanta Bergamo fullback spoke with ZDF television after the fixture.
The German Nationalmannschaft returned to action on Thursday following a 289-day break. The COVID-enforced intermission f Germany’s national team took its longest hiatus from action since WWII. As was to be expected, the level of play wasn’t exactly the fastest or crispest at times.
Despite this, national team debutante Robin Gosens reported having “a very intense evening”. The 26-year-old Atalanta Bergamo fullback finally earned his first national team cap at any level. As it so happens, Joachim Löw’s decision not to call up six Bayern München players recently involved in the UEFA Champions League final last week accorded him his first start as well.
Gosens served as a pseudo wingback on the right flank, positioned slightly ahead of Antonio Rüdiger in a 3-4-3. He was involved in both goals in the 1-1 draw. Gosens directly supplied the assist on Timo Werner’s opening tally in the 51st, deftly cutting back a cross for the new Chelsea striker just inside the 18.
Unfortunately, an error from Gosens enabled Spain to equalize in the final play of the game. The debtant, marking Rodrigo Moreno, lost a duel and slid past the goal line. His presence outside the field of play negated any possibility of an offside call, enabling José Gaya to charge ahead of the German defensive ranks and home Moreno’s cross in the 96th.
“This evening I again learned something,” a happy if not somewhat irritated Gosens told ZDF television after the match, “I thought that if I was behind the goal line, I would no longer be part of the match.”
The mistake didn’t necessarily overshadow what was a decent debut. Bundestrainer Löw rated Gosens’ first appearance with the Bundesadler on his chest a “good”, praising his dynamism, describing him as a hard worker, and lauding both his passing technique and ability on crosses. The 26-year-old reported experiencing a “roller-coaster-ride of emotions” and noted “It was a huge evening for me”.
Gosens emphasized that he’ll have to keep his feet on the ground, saying “When you get a taste of the [national] team, you naturally want more. European Championships and World Cups are the highest level for a football player.”
One of the evening’s most influential factors nevertheless reflected, “but I still have to further prove myself.”