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Chorus of praise

Kimmich: The team made it very easy for me

Joshua Kimmich patiently answered media questions in the tunnel, brimming with joy. He had just made his EURO debut in the 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland, deputising as right-back and turning in a commanding display. “The coach approached me two days before the match and said he considered fielding me at right-back,” revealed Kimmich, who had played in the position in training before the encounter. “On the eve of the match he informed me.”

Joachim Löw's decision was vindicated. Kimmich supplied impetus up front over and over, pushing up boldly and joining in passing combinations. “His movements were very good,” praised Löw, “he whipped good crosses from the right and kept the defenders busy. I couldn't detect any nervousness.”

'He showed real courage'

His team-mates joined in the chorus of praise. “He showed real courage to try things, we need these players,” his future FCB team-mate Mats Hummels commented on the 21-year-old, who initiated the attack that lead to Mario-Gomez's match-winner before the half-hour. “He turned in what I expected him to, what I know him for,” said Thomas Müller, who was not surprised by Kimmich's strong performance in his second appearance for Germany.

The Bayern starlet was delighted, but passed on the praise. “I have ten players around me, and the substitutes and coaches: everybody helps each other. The team made it very easy for me.” Kimmich was not surprised by the team performance against Northern Ireland: “There has always been harmony in the team, from the first match onwards. We should have only scored more goals to make it perfect.”