National team: Flick’s radical conversion: with Wirtz and Wolf against Peru?

National team: Flick’s radical conversion: with Wirtz and Wolf against Peru?

National team
Flick’s radical conversion: with Wirtz and Wolf against Peru?

Can rely on his complete squad against Peru: national coach.  Photo: Arne Dedert/dpa

Can rely on his complete squad against Peru: national coach. photo

© Arne Dedert/dpa

“The World Cup is over,” says Hansi Flick. In training, a starting eleven against Peru with just three players left, who were also allowed to start in the World Cup defeat against Costa Rica.

Hansi Flick gets started – and he puts his words into action. “The World Cup is over for us,” emphasized the national coach at the start towards the home European Championship in 2024.

And during the first training session with the full 23-man squad on Tuesday in the rain in Frankfurt, the 58-year-old formed a possible formation for the start of the year against Peru, which marked the new start in terms of personnel compared to the messed-up World Cup in Qatar could hardly depict it more blatantly.

After the failure of Bayern star Jamal Musiala (thigh injury), only three players could start in Mainz on Saturday (8:45 p.m. / ZDF), who also played on December 1, 2022 in the World Cup preliminary round against Costa Rica on the pitch at kick-off: The Bayern duo Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka as well as Leipzig’s David Raum.

Flick wants to “look for alternatives”

Flick wants to “look for alternatives and broaden the squad,” as he said. And that could look like this against Peru: The defensive chain is occupied by the Dortmund international match newcomer Marius Wolf and the World Cup participants Matthias Ginter, Nico Schlotterbeck and Raum. Before that, captain Kimmich and Goretzka acted as established figures and leaders in defensive midfield. The offensive department is made up of the top talent from Leverkusen Florian Wirtz and Kai Havertz as well as the tips Niclas Füllkrug and Timo Werner.

Leverkusen’s exceptional talent Wirtz (19) and Leipzig’s attacker Werner (27) both missed the World Cup due to injury. “I have to fit in here and show my performance,” said Wirtz on Tuesday after training. Flick’s EM hopeful is about to make his fifth after a cruciate ligament tear international match. In goal, the national coach had already decided on Marc-André ter Stegen as number one for the injured captain Manuel Neuer.

Flick wants to experiment a lot in the first test games after the World Cup. International newcomers Marius Wolf, Mergim Berisha, Felix Nmecha, Kevin Schade, Josha Vagnoman and Malick Thiaw, who was subsequently nominated by the U21 team, are set to make their debuts.

Dream of the home EM

The dream goal for all 23 invited players is the home European Championship in 2024. Emre Can and Matthias Ginter (both 29) would like their wonderful childhood memories of the German World Cup summer fairy tale of 2006 to be repeated.

“The cohesion of the whole country was extreme back then,” said Dortmund midfielder Can. “It must be our goal to be one with the 80 million people in Germany. You can ignite this fire. And if we can do that, I believe that we can play a very successful European Championship here at home in Germany”, said Can, who was called back to the DFB squad by national coach Flick after a two-year international break.

Ginter called the 2006 World Cup an “amazing childhood memory”. Like Can, he was twelve years old at the time. “The whole streets were full, everything with German flags, public viewing was practically invented back then. The whole country was behind the national team,” said the SC Freiburg defender. The 2014 world champion enthused that the national players of the time would have stood on the pitch “like heroes”. “You know what a tournament can trigger in a country,” said Ginter. After the disappointing World Cup in Qatar, it was the declared goal of the national team “that we can restore just such euphoria and cohesion”.


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