BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany need to move one step at a time as they look to rebound following a disappointing World Cup last year and not allow their focus to be distracted as they build towards hosting Euro 2024, midfielder Mario Goetze said on Thursday.
The Germans crashed out of the World Cup in Qatar in the group stage for the second consecutive time and are desperate to rebuild a team that can excite their home fans at next year's European Championship.
"We have the Euro right in front of us but it is important to take it one step at a time," Goetze told a news conference ahead of Saturday's friendly against Peru in Mainz.
Germany also play Belgium on March 28 in their first two international matches of the year.
"What is important is to approach all of it, the issues and our football, step by step."
Germany coach Hansi Flick has called up several newcomers for the two matches but has also retained the experienced 30-year-old, who scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final.
Goetze made his international comeback last year after a five-year absence.
Germany's support at home has waned in recent years with the four-time world champions struggling to fill stadiums, having been eliminated early in their last three tournaments.
Their disappointing group-stage exit in Qatar has added more pressure on the team.
"You learn from challenges and from not so good times. It's not always just going to get better in football. So you learn and you grow," Goetze said.
The midfielder is no stranger to career ups and downs. After lifting the World Cup, he struggled to hold down a starting spot at Bayern Munich following his surprise departure from Borussia Dortmund in 2013.
A return to Dortmund in 2016 proved less than successful before he revived his career with a two-season spell at PSV Eindhoven in 2020, before joining Eintracht Frankfurt last year.
"I am relaxed (about Qatar). That's the good thing with football. You can quickly move on," Goetze said. "Our view is going only into the future and we try to take the best from all our experiences. That's what I have been doing for some years and will keep doing."
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis)