HAnsi Flick has once again appealed to the international associations to straighten out the game calendar in view of the permanently high strain in professional football. “One should take care of the whole thing at some point and ask: How can you give the players a break because it’s extremely important,” said the national coach on Friday: He expects that “from the experts in the committees, whether it’s UEFA or is FIFA. You should set some actions.”
At the end of a long season with, in extreme cases, up to 60 competitive games, the four Nations League games are “simply too much”, Flick complained before the third game on Saturday (8.45 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Nations League and on RTL) in Hungary – especially with a view to the two previous pandemic years.
“We had a lot of English weeks, a short summer break and almost no preparation,” explained Flick, with the start of the World Cup season the game will soon continue “every three or four days” until the final round.
“If it was a holiday, I wouldn’t say: ‘Ugh, devil! Now it’s vacation’”, said national player Thomas Müller. He also called four encounters within eleven days “an enormous amount”, that was “certainly not a dream”, but: “It’s our job that we have to do. We will absolutely be able to handle it.”
The DFB team may have to do without Serge Gnabry against Hungary. The Bayern professional completed a running session away from the team during the final training session on Friday in Herzogenaurach. “The assignment is questionable,” said national coach Hansi Flick: “He has a bit of a muscular problem in his calf, it looks better after the run, we’ll wait and see.”
Marco Reus (hamstring tear) must pass for sure. At least 24 of the 26 nominated players are still available to Flick.