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Rio 2016

Olympic heroes pause to catch their breath

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The gold medal remained just beyond their grasp; nevertheless, by securing silver, the members of the German Olympic squad have achieved a fantastic result felt to be beyond them by some, and were only defeated on penalties in the final, which was held in Rio de Janeiro. 

BVB Manager Thomas Tuchel had crossed his fingers strongly for "his boys", Sven Bender and Matthias Ginter, while sitting in front of the television. Although both delivered strong performances, it was, nonetheless, a hair's breadth short of what was required to take the gold. The Brazilians saw things through by winning 5-4 in the penalty shootout. "It is no easy thing to step up and take the first penalty kick", said Tuchel in recognition of Ginter, who converted successfully to the bottom left of the goal as the first of the ten takers from both teams.

Sven Bender went into the final carrying an injury, yet refused to be substituted despite being signalled to come off. "He played through it, as we know is his wont", said Tuchel of Bender, who had sustained an ankle injury in the semi-final, and who was affected by muscular problems in his calf after sprinting in the 116' minute.

"I felt him radiating positivity down the line"

After their return to Dortmund, Sven Bender and Matthias Ginter will have the opportunity to take a break. "Wednesday afternoon is the earliest possible time" they could participate again in BVB training, according to Tuchel: "They need to catch their breath."

Borussia Dortmund's manager saw a positive conclusion to the Olympics from the perspective of the club: "We let them go because we knew that Manni and Ginni would play a fundamental role in Horst Hrubesch's planning." Tuchel found out to what extent both of them had enjoyed their participation in the games the day before the final, as he spoke with Bender on his mobile phone: "I could feel him radiating positivity down the line."
Boris Rupert