Monday 25 June 2018, 14:31

Reus to the rescue for Germany

  • Marco Reus agonisingly missed out on Brazil 2014 and France 2016

  • He got a goal and an assist on his first World Cup start

  • Reus speaks to about the Sweden win and Germany's hopes

By Steffen Potter with Germany

Germany remain in a difficult situation at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, with the threat of an early exit still looming large. Yet amid all this uncertainty, Marco Reus is one player who feels very much at home here and is eager to show it, whether on the pitch or in interviews.

The man from Dortmund had to wait until the age of 29 to play at his first FIFA World Cup™. It is all too easy to forget that he was considered arguably Germany’s best player ahead of Brazil 2014, but missed out on a role in his country’s triumph after sustaining an injury shortly before the tournament began, and was sidelined again for UEFA EURO 2016.

"It’s my first time at a major tournament like this and it’s great to see how many people are out celebrating in the Fan Zones and supporting us," Reus said at a press conference before taking time out for an interview. With his ability to play as well on the wing as in the centre of attacking midfield, the quick and powerful dribbler is enjoying his time in Russia.

"I was so excited about being part of this,” he told FIFA. “Although we obviously didn’t imagine starting with the kind of result we had against Mexico, that’s just the way it is sometimes."

Reus can certainly be pleased with his individual performance that day. With many expecting him to be included in the starting XI, he breathed new life into the side when he was eventually introduced as a substitute. It won him a start against Sweden.

"The Sweden match showed that we have the right mentality and character when it matters," he said.

Reus is a fantastic footballer who can decide matches with moments of brilliance. While the defending champions have certainly missed his runs into space, the team has not yet sparkled in Russia. This was exemplified by the fact that he somehow bundled in his goal against Sweden with the inside of his knee.

"It’s already clear to us that we need to play better football, but in our situation I think we have to focus on achieving maximum success and winning games at any cost rather than playing beautifully and losing," he said. "Nevertheless, the Sweden match showed that we have the right mentality and character when it matters.

Kroos’s winner was the latest ever scored at a World Cup, suggesting that this Germany squad may share many of the traits so often attributed to their predecessors at this tournament.

"The match against South Korea won’t be any easier, as they have quicker players than Sweden going forward and can also play on the counter-attack," Reus warned ahead of the game in Kazan on Wednesday. "Every match is a final for us now."

The first of these finals has already ended in triumph – thanks in no small part to Reus.

Mario Gomez of Germany and teammates celebarate after Toni Kroos of Germany scores their second goal

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