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Boateng's maiden goal

'It's about time it went in'

Jérôme Boateng has fulfilled a personal dream by scoring his first goal in his 63rd appearance for Germany, setting the world champions on their way in the 3-0 victory over Slovakia. “It wasn't so easy to control the ball. He hit it perfectly. We haven't scored an early goal so often. It provided more certainty,” Joachim Löw said, praising the defensive chief and 'leader' turned scorer.

“It's about time it went in,” the centre-back commented on his maiden goal, a blistering eighth-minute volley: “I'm happy for the team, who played very well today.” But first he thanked team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt and physio Klaus Eder, dashing to the bench and embracing them right after netting. “The physios gave it everything in the last few days. I wouldn't have been able to play without them,” explained Boateng, who has recovered from a calf problem.

The FCB centre-back has been the undisputed chief of the German defence for a long time. Thomas Müller once called him 'Kaiser' because of his brilliant and pinpoint passes, reminiscent of Franz Beckenbauer's masterclass. “I don't need to stress his value. He's the kind of player the team know they can rely on,” Löw commented on the 27-year-old, who does not shy away from voicing criticism when necessary. “I think I've worked for and earned my position,” declared Boateng, who aims to continue his burgeoning success story in France.