"WHEN YOU'RE A LITTLE BOY, YOU DREAM OF THIS".
Two 05 home-grown players played a decisive role in the Germany U21's progress to the European Championship semi-final
After staying in the Bundesliga with Mainz 05, Finn Dahmen and Jonathan Burkardt experienced the next highlight. The two 05 home-grown players from the academy won the European Championship quarter-finals against Denmark with the German U21 national team and played a decisive role in getting to the semi-final. "The U21s are a joy to watch. It's nice that two of our players are playing a good role," said Mainz sporting director Martin Schmidt, expressing his satisfaction with the performances.
Burkardt, who was brought on in the second half, secured the team's place in the penalty shoot-out with his goal in extra time. In the shoot-out, Dahmen became the celebrated match-winner with two saves, making up for the mistake of his team-mate, who had previously been unsuccessful in his attempt. "As a young boy, when you decide to go in goal, you dream of such opportunities to excel. That's why it was a very nice moment for me and I'm just happy that I could help the team," said Dahmen.
Burkardt brings dynamism and playfulness
The 23-year-old had previously been challenged several times against strong Danes, especially in the second half. The goalkeeper, who has been with the teams at Bruchweg since the U11s, emphasised the good team spirit, which he knows very well from the second half of the season in Mainz: "We always believed, even when we were behind by one goal." Schmidt also praised the performance: "You can see that he has taken an important step this season, has grown and can help the U21s."
With his substitution in the 64th minute, Burkardt, who has been a Zerofiver since the U15s, also brought that belief and plenty of momentum to the game. "You could see straight away that an additional dynamic and playfulness came in with the substitution of Jonny. He rewarded himself with the goal. He is on a good path, motivated and can help the team. He will learn from his miss in the penalty shootout and grow from it," said Schmidt.
Optimism for the semi-finals
The tournament continues with the semi-finals, where the Netherlands await on Thursday (9pm CET). "We are really looking forward to that and are optimistic that we will make it to the next round," says Dahmen.