JWhen the prominent returnees arrived, oachim Löw was relaxed in front of the team hotel, Thomas Müller delighted DFB director Oliver Bierhoff again with his notorious sayings. The 100-time national player Müller and his buddy Mats Hummels introduced themselves on Friday after a two-and-a-half year break, “as if they had never been away,” reported Bierhoff in Seefeld. He has the impression that they want to “march ahead as absolute role models, bring in their personality and quality”. Bierhoff did not reveal what kind of cheer up Müller had contributed to immediately after arrival.
The Rio world champions Müller and Hummels were brought to the team quarters by the DFB driver service. Hummels strolling casually into the quarter in white shorts was a few minutes faster than Müller, accompanied by captain and Bayern colleague Manuel Neuer. Good mood type Müller smiled under his FFP2 mask in the Tyrolean midday sun and waved briefly in the direction of the cameras and photographers. “Both played a great season, both are great personalities”, said Bierhoff and added his expectation for the EM from June 11th to celebrate “great successes” together.
The national coach had already verbally rolled out the red carpet for the national players he had sorted out in 2019: “These players mean a lot to me.” At an altitude of 1200 meters, Löw wants to realign the hierarchy in the team with Müller and Hummels on his last mission as top German football teacher lay the foundations for a successful EM. “The training camp is an important key to the tournament,” said the 61-year-old, who is leaving after the pan-European test of strength after a total of 17 years at the DFB, 15 of them as national coach.
On the evening of the day of arrival, the first training session in the Tyrolean Alps was scheduled behind a total of 2.5 kilometers of barriers. The security precautions have been expanded again due to the corona pandemic. “Now the focus is on work, to tackle things with absolute concentration,” explained Bierhoff, who felt a good mood among the 20 players who had initially traveled. “We have a high quality, excellent characters” – the basis for a better tournament than the last World Cup in Russia in 2018.
Müller and Hummels immediately take up a prominent place in Löw’s plans. “It is clear that certain things are expected of them. We do it out of sporting conviction that they can help the team with their experience, ”said the national coach. Both professionals can and should close a leadership vacuum that had recently opened not only in the international game embarrassment against Spain (0: 6) and North Macedonia (1: 2).
Test in Insbruck
He doesn’t have much time to reintegrate Müller and Hummels. Next Wednesday there will most likely be the international comeback of both leading figures in the test in Innsbruck against Denmark. You can use a starting advantage: While other important EM players are missing in Seefeld for the time being, Munich’s Müller and Dortmund’s Hummels, together with a large Bayern block, are part of the training units from the start. “That helps,” remarked Bierhoff.
Real Madrid star Kroos does not know when he can travel to Austria after his corona infection. “We wait every day for the results to be negative,” reported Bierhoff. In “one or two days” he expected Kroos in Seefeld. Team doctor Tim Meyer reported a “slight course” of the corona disease at Kroos. Nevertheless, the 31-year-old must be carefully and gradually brought back to top physical level, said the doctor. Bayern professional Leon Goretzka is still waiting for his return to the field after a torn muscle fiber.
Quarantine is worrying
Ilkay Gündogan on the one hand and Timo Werner, Antonio Rüdiger and Kai Havertz on the other hand face each other in Porto on Saturday in the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea. Bierhoff is “worried” that the four players would have to be quarantined for 14 days if they were to enter Germany from the virus mutant area of England. The Austrian authorities have granted the DFB an exemption for the Seefeld site. Now Bierhoff has to find the optimal solution, on June 7th the EM dress rehearsal against Latvia is on the program in Düsseldorf.
In addition to the tactical focal points “defensive order and offensive possibilities” and “mainly” standard situations, the national coach has declared the subject of team building to be one of the main focuses of the training camp. In contrast to the preparation for the crashingly failed World Cup mission 2018, which was overshadowed by team conflicts such as the photos of Mesut Özil and Gündogan with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, work should be harmonious in Seefeld. “We have to be aware that we are fully involved,” demanded Bierhoff.
Because one wish unites Löw and his players. Bayern professional Leroy Sané put it on ARD at the start of the preparation: “I want to enjoy the time, but in the end I want to come home with the really big dream and win the title.”