National team: Against Belgium: A fighter, two leaders and two anniversaries

National team
Against Belgium: A fighter, double leadership and two anniversaries

Germany’s Emre Can in action. photo

© Arne Dedert/dpa

The win against Peru at the start of the year is set to be followed by another success against Belgium. The result is also particularly “in focus” for the national coach, but also individual players.

Second game, second win? Hansi Flick would like to follow the 2-0 win against Peru in a duel with Belgium on Tuesday evening (8.45 p.m. / RTL) with the next success.

“That’s clearly the focus,” said the national coach. In the Cologne stadium, the eyes are not only on the national football team as a whole, but also on individual players such as Dortmund returnee Emre Can, strikers Niclas Füllkrug and Timo Werner and two possible international anniversaries.

Mentality player: In his World Cup analysis, Hansi Flick identified a particular deficit in defensive work and defensive strength. At the beginning of the preparations for the home European Championship 2024, one personal answer to this was Emre Can, who was recently able to push himself to the fore again at Borussia Dortmund. The 28-year-old is considered a mental player. Can celebrated his international comeback against Peru after almost two years. He should also play in midfield alongside captain Joshua Kimmich against the strong Belgians. “Emre did well. Emre is someone who acts a bit more defensively, who focuses even more on the defensive,” said Flick about the clearer. For Flick, good defense is a key to success in the European Championship.

Double leadership: Flick wants to keep the new system with two strikers against Belgium. The cast remains unchanged with Niclas Füllkrug (30) and Timo Werner (27). Füllkrug scored twice against Peru. But Werner was also praised by Flick for his high workload with many space-creating runs in depth. With a double leadership there is more activity in the penalty area. “Both Timo and Niclas feel comfortable with a player around them,” said Flick. Leipzig’s Werner hopes for his 25th goal in 57th international match. Füllkrug’s quota is top: The late-caller from Bremen scored five times in five games.

Anniversaries: Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter (29) and Bayern professional Leon Goretzka (28) could be playing their 50th international match. At the age of 20, Ginter was part of the squad that became world champion in Brazil. The central defender showed against Peru “that you can rely on him. He brings the quality that he showed in Freiburg to us too,” said Flick. Ginter has been part of the national team for a long time and is now about to take the next step.

For Flick, Goretzka is “one of the best midfielders” when he is fit and in shape. The national coach thinks that the Munich player is good for every team, especially with his dynamism when working against the ball.

As an example, Flick cited FC Bayern’s recent Champions League games against Paris Saint-Germain, in which Goretzka had won balls very well against world champion Lionel Messi several times. “These are things that set him apart. When he does these things, he’s an important part of the team,” said Flick.



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