Bender 'thrilled' to see Germany through to quarterfinals

The Bayer Leverkusen man is delighted to have scored the goal that booked his country’s place in the next round of Euro 2012.
Germany midfielder Lars Bender has expressed his delight in having scored the winning goal against Denmark on Sunday.

Bender’s 80th-minute strike proved enough to book his country’s place in the quarterfinals of Euro 2012 and the 23-year-old was over the moon with his display.

“You need some time to realize that,” Bender said at a press conference in Gdansk. “It was a special occasion for me to be in the starting lineup. The goal is a great story for me. What I was thinking? Well, I saw the space and went for it, I am overjoyed it worked.

“The coach said he trusted me some time ago and I paid that back yesterday.“

Bender will now look forward to Germany’s quarterfinal clash with Greece, which dumped Russia out of the tournament on Saturday.

“It will be a difficult task for us, but for them as well,” he continued, “It will be an uncomfortable match, for sure.

“The game against Greece will be like the one against Denmark though and we have to think about that and figure out solutions. I am happy I helped the team. The decision on who plays the next match is not mine. I will continue to prove my worth to the coach.“

Bender also commented on Greece’s economic and political situation, which could prove to be a factor in their clash.

“We all know about the political situation in Greece. There were elections yesterday. It is difficult," he said. “The fact that their team has qualified makes the people over there happy and forget everything that has happened in the last few months.“

Follow GOAL.COM USA on