Schurrle: Amazing feeling
news Wed 6 Aug 2014
It was a summer to remember for Andre Schurrle, who scored three goals in Brazil as Germany triumphed at the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
Now, having had time to allow the magnitude of his achievement to sink in, Schurrle has returned to Cobham ahead of the new season, joining up with his team-mates for the first time since helping his country become world champions.
Shortly after one of his first training sessions, Schurrle sat down with the official Chelsea website to reflect on fulfilling a lifetime ambition at the age of 23, as well as looking ahead to what he hopes will be a successful season for the Blues…
Few players over the course of their careers are afforded the opportunity to take part in a World Cup, the greatest sporting event on earth, while it’s an even smaller proportion who are able to say they’ve walked away with a winners’ medal. Following a memorable four-week period earlier this summer, Andre Schurrle can now tick both boxes.
Having gone into the tournament vying for a place in Joachim Low’s starting 11, Schurrle ended the competition having made a decisive impact on more than one occasion.
With Germany struggling to break down a resilient Algeria in the last 16, it was Schurrle who came off the bench to break the deadlock in extra-time, before he went on to score a brace in the 7-1 semi-final victory against the host nation. Even better was to come in the final when, with the match seemingly destined for a penalty shoot-out, Schurrle supplied the cross from which Mario Gotze volleyed him the winning goal.
‘It’s an amazing feeling, I feel very good,’ he says. ‘I’ve had a nice holiday after some big celebrations but it’s nice to be back and now I’m highly motivated to do big things with Chelsea this season.
‘It took a couple of days, even weeks, to realise what happened. You’re in a flow and you don’t really think about it, you’re just celebrating and you’re really happy, but now I’m starting to realise what it means to be a World Cup winner. In Germany the fans are so happy, the whole country was behind us and it was an amazing feeling.
‘It was a good tournament for me personally. It was difficult for me not to start because I had a good preparation for the World Cup, scoring in the friendlies. The manager spoke to me and said I was a candidate for the starting 11 but he also said he needed me towards the end of matches when I would be fresh to play a crucial role in the last few minutes. I wanted to achieve something big with the team so I gave everything and to score three goals and get three assists was brilliant.’
The scenes which greeted the Germany team on arrival back home from South America are ones which will remain with Schurrle for a long time.
‘It was an amazing experience, I don’t think Germany has ever seen anything like it,’ he recalls. ‘There were more than one million people on the streets of Berlin and following our bus through the city. They were all celebrating with us and we had lots of fun, we were singing and dancing, and it was an amazing feeling to see so many people so happy.’
Germany’s 7-1 win over Brazil is the game which stands out from what was a wonderful competition, unsurprisingly given the ruthless nature of their performance on the night.
Schurrle was introduced midway through the second half with the game already over as a contest but, while he was delighted to score twice, with his second goal in particular a stunning strike, he felt for his Chelsea team-mates in the Brazil side.
‘It was 5-0 when I came on and you could see the Brazilian players were tired and didn’t want to play anymore,’ he says. ‘I had a few chances and I thought to myself I would get an opportunity to score. It was our best game of the tournament and we played fantastically well. My second was one of the best goals I’ve ever scored, especially as it was with my left foot. It was crazy and I was so happy when it went in.
‘I needed to hug them (Oscar, Willian and Ramires), they were very sad and crying. I just told them that next season we would do something big with Chelsea and that they’d had a brilliant tournament, but at moments like that they don’t want to hear anything.’
An early injury to midfielder Christoph Kramer ensured Schurrle entered the fray sooner than he would have expected during the final against Argentina, and he went close on a couple of occasions with fierce long-range efforts.
With only seven minutes of extra-time remaining, however, he burst down the left-hand side and, looking up, picked out the run of Gotze, who secured the trophy for Germany with a fine finish.
‘It was a weird game,’ says Schurrle. ‘It wasn’t the best in terms of football but nobody wanted to make a mistake. They had a chance at the beginning with (Gonzalo) Higuain but we always had the feeling we were the better team and we could do it.
‘We felt we were stronger and we would have more possession. Argentina played 120 minutes in the semi-final and we felt they were tiring and looking for penalties. Then Mario scored and, what a feeling…’
Since that memorable night in Rio de Janeiro just under a month ago, Schurrle has enjoyed a well-deserved holiday ahead of the coming campaign with the Blues.
While some familiar faces have departed the club since the end of last season, we have four new additions to the first-team squad.
‘I’ve had a short break after a hard year but I want to work, I want to get fit,’ he explains. ‘It will take a bit of time to get going but we have great staff here, a great team and hopefully I’ll be fit by the time the season starts.
‘They’re all world-class players, Drogba’s back with his club and Fabregas is one of the best players in the world. We played against Filipe Luis last season when he was with Atletico and he did very well. I saw Diego Costa’s goal against Olimpija Lubjlana and it was a great finish, so I’m looking forward to playing with all of them, they all have great quality.’
His first season at Stamford Bridge was a solid one for Schurrle, with the personal highlight a hat-trick in our 3-1 win at Fulham.
His sole aim is now collective success, and ensuring we finish the season in a similar manner to how Germany ended the World Cup – holding a trophy aloft.
‘I’m hoping to achieve what we couldn’t last season, which is to win something,’ he says. ‘That’s what it’s all about, winning matches and winning trophies. We have the squad, we have the players and now we just need to work hard.’