Gotze: I am still young, but I want to play now

The young midfielder spoke about the upcoming game with Greece and admitted that he relishes the chance to face off against tough opponents, but would like more playing time
Germany playmaker Mario Gotze is itching to get out onto the pitch after playing no part in his country's Euro 2012 campaign to date.

The 20-year-old's Borussia Dortmund season was curtailed by injury, but he insists that he is ready for action and is not keen on waiting.

"I am totally fit,” he told "What I really need now is game time. I want to play, I want to have fun. Especially in a tournament like this, on the big stage. Many people tell me that I'm still young, and have my future ahead of me. But no player who sits on the bench can be satisfied - that would be bad."

But despite his lack of action, Gotze stated that he is learning a lot.

"It's all very intense, and it's very exciting to see the processes and how everything is organised. For me, it's also great to be together with the squad for such a long period of time," he added. "Everything's to the highest standard: the hotels, the food, the training grounds. But football is football.

"I'm trying to make the most out of the situation. It's a learning process. But the most important thing is that we've won three times - we are all a team and we have common aims. It's not about player X or player Y."

Even though Germany eventually won Group B with those three wins, it found itself in a situation against Denmark in the final game where conceding a late goal would have seen them eliminated.

And Gotze admitted that he was anxious as the match unfolded.

"There was a time when I wondered what would happen if the Danes scored," he continued. "And, indeed, they had a chance when Jakob Poulsen hit the outside of the post. It could have been over in no time - that was really close. Luckily, things turned out differently."

A similar situation befell holders Spain, who would have gone out at the group stage had Croatia ground out victory on Monday night.

"It would have caused a sensation if they had been eliminated. In the end, quality prevailed," he added. "I think it's also good because we still have a chance of playing Spain. Playing against the best motivates me.

"The Portuguese are very strong going forward. And the Spanish have again shown that they have a great team and play beautiful football."

Gotze has also issued a warning regarding quarterfinal opponents Greece, stating that the 2004 champions should not be taken lightly.

"It will be a difficult game, they are organized very well defensively, and they got a surprise win against Russia," he told reporters. "But we should be able to establish ourselves against Greece. The three victories have brought a lot of confidence."

Die Mannschaft will face Fernando Santos' side on Friday at 2:45CET.

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