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After the Italy game: the German national team’s World Cup structure is in place

KHansi Flick left the stadium in Mönchengladbach just before midnight. The national coach hugged the members of his support team before he went to the hotel and at the same time said goodbye to his vacation.

Flick beamed. What was not surprising on this Tuesday evening was that the German national football team, which he has been in charge of for almost a year, impressively won the fourth Nations League game within eleven days – 5: 2 (2: 0) against Italy.

Flick thanked his team, who had managed to set an example before the summer break after three previous draws – 1-1 each against Italy, England and Hungary. Flick also noticed the unrest that arose in public after some poor performances. “Retrieving such a performance in the fourth game was a real stress test. We needed this win. Victories create self-confidence and self-image,” said the 57-year-old. “We didn’t do everything perfectly, but we don’t want to talk about that today.”

Werner breathes a sigh of relief, frustration at Neuer

Joshua Kimmich (10th minute), Ilkay Gündogan with a penalty kick (45th + 4th) and Thomas Müller (51st) had given the German team a 3-0 lead before Timo Werner scored twice with a brace (68th and 69th). .) justified trust in him. Flick had again relied on the recently hapless striker from Chelsea. Werner didn’t shine against Italy, but he scored and returned. “Goals are always good for a striker. In my case, double and triple if you get counted after every game,” said Werner. “It’s clear that I’m not who I used to be, who welded every ball in. But I’m working on getting back there.”

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Wilfried Gnonto (78′) and Alessandro Bastoni (90′ + 4) scored for Italy – and thus caused a little frustration for Manuel Neuer, who would have liked to keep a clean sheet. After conceding the second goal, the German goalkeeper waved his hand angrily. And that at the end of a game and at the end of a journey with four international matches in which the 36-year-old captain showed once again what outstanding form he is in again. Neuer is again increasingly holding the “untenables”.

When Gianluca Caprari had already circled Neuer in the 57th minute and wanted to push in, the goalkeeper turned around, threw himself back on the line and saved the ball. The goal would not have counted due to an offside position, but Neuer was then celebrated online by experts and fans for the parade.

Neuer is one of the pillars in Flick’s team, which already has clear contours on the way to the World Cup in Qatar, which begins on November 21. The goalkeeper, central defenders Antonio Rüdiger and Niklas Süle, Joshua Kimmich in defensive midfield and Thomas Müller in attacking midfield form the framework. This should now also be completed by Ilkay Gündogan, who is currently in the lead next to Kimmich in a duel with Leon Goretzka. The Manchester City professional was allowed to play against Italy and England from the start. In both games, the Germans fired 15 shots at goal, in the other two games, when Goretzka was first choice, only five. The Flick selection had more control in the center with Gündogan.

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When the analysis and the reasons for the win came after the game against Italy, Thomas Müller didn’t just say that they played a little more risky and with more courage. The 116-time national player swung wide and spoke about the risk of losing the ball. “With the knowledge,” says Müller, “to snatch away the second ball. So a factual courage and not an emotional one. If we understand a little bit more on offense that a cross that doesn’t lead directly to goal becomes dangerous with the second ball when we’re positioned like that, then we’ll make life easier for ourselves.”

Müller speaks of “football smart things”

Müller added that they have good players, a good attitude and a good project going on. “But we still have all sorts of deficits, you have to be that honest,” he added. “We have everything to be able to beat anyone on a good day. We still have to do the things that are smart about football, like wanting to do the right thing.” What he means: simple passes and no unnecessary dribbles that end in ball losses.

“It wasn’t luck, nor real ability”

National coach Hansi Flick and his players were able to end the 1-1 crisis with a 5-2 win over Italy in the Nations League. Jimmy Hartwig, former DFB national player, assesses the performance of the team – also with regard to the World Cup in Qatar.

There’s still plenty of time before the next international matches: Germany will meet Hungary in Leipzig on September 23rd and England in London on September 29th. The last World Cup test for Flick’s team, which after 13 games under his direction so far has nine wins, four draws and 42:7 goals, increases during the training camp in Dubai.

The selection of the German Football Association (DFB) breaks into the camp on the night of November 14th. The first World Cup game in the group is on November 23 against Japan, followed by the games against Spain (November 27) and Costa Rica on December 1. The Central American team qualified for the World Cup on Tuesday with a 1-0 win against New Zealand.

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