I’ll never forget the moment I held up the World Cup trophy in Maracanã Stadium. Slowly, I realized that we had done it, that all the concentration and hard work had paid off. Suddenly the pressure was gone. Basti, Miro, Per, Thomas and Manuel came over and thanked me from the bottom of their hearts, and that meant a lot to me. I don’t get so caught up in the moment that I forget everything else, but being the world champion feels absolutely amazing.
But I don’t want to fool myself. I know the other side of the coin, the disappointment that takes hold when you can’t quite give it your all at a key moment. Losing affects you at least as strongly as winning. I don’t do things halfway. Some say it’s one of my biggest strengths, but I think it’s completely normal. Unfortunately, giving it your all only makes the disappointment worse when you don’t achieve what you’ve set out to do.