Sami Khedira turned down a reporter’s offer of flight passes to take him and his Germany team-mates home from the World Cup in Russia, insisting they would not be needed until after the final.
Germany are in a precarious position in Group F after suffering a 1-0 defeat against Mexico in their opening game on Sunday, but Khedira said Joachim Low’s squad remain confident of progressing to the knockout stages.
Die Mannschaft face Sweden on Saturday before their final group game against South Korea on Wednesday and Juventus midfielder Khedira rejected suggestions that their campaign could be over after just two matches.
When a Swedish reporter cheekily handed him tickets for flights back to Germany, claiming he would need them after the defending champions lose on Saturday ,Khedira said: “We don’t need it. We don’t want to go back home. We are thinking to win this game.
“After this bad start, we know that it’s super difficult, but we know that we are a strong team. We analysed the game, we saw Sweden play and we are sure that we are winning this game.
“I think we’ll need them [plane tickets] on the 16th of July.”
Khedira’s sentiments were echoed by Germany team-mate Timo Werner, who said it was better for the team to have lost their opening game than hit poor form later in the competition.
Werner played as a lone striker against Mexico, before being replaced four minutes from time by Julian Brandt.
“Of course we can still win the World Cup,” Werner told Bundesliga.com . “We are Germany and we want to win every game.
“Things like this can happen, you can lose a game, but you have to show a reaction as quickly as possible and find the best way forward.
“It is better to lose the first game than the fourth or fifth. Spain lost their first match at the World Cup in South Africa [to Switzerland] and ended up being champions. Now what we have to do is win the next match against Sweden.”