Newsletter

U-17 national team: “Germany has a lot of talent, you just have to give them the chance”

Contents

Read content on one page

Page 1 — “Germany has a lot of talent, you just have to give them the chance”

Page 2 — “We make things unnecessarily complicated” Page 3 — “Funino is exactly the right option”

As a player, Rainer Zietsch, 59, was German champion with VfB Stuttgart (1984), and met Diego Maradona in the 1989 UEFA Cup final. After his professional career, he headed the youth performance center of 1. FC Nürnberg for a decade. He has been assistant coach to Christian Wücks since 2016, and the two are currently the most successful youth coaches in the DFB. This year they became European and world champions with the U17.

TIME ONLINE: Mr. Zietsch, you first became European champions and now world champions with the German U17s. No team has ever achieved this before. Has Germany not forgotten how to play football?

Rainer Zietsch: Germany still has many good footballers, at youth level and elsewhere. Our team also has players with very good qualities. I am convinced that we will continue to hear from some of them. Provided they are supported and stay on the ground. What stood out in Indonesia and also at the European Championships in Hungary was the team spirit and mentality. Christian Wück called the team a good mix of “sons-in-law and gangsters.” That’s it.

TIME ONLINE: What was the key game on the way to the title?

Zietsch: The round of 16. Everything was going smoothly until then, three wins in the preliminary round. The team started the tournament with great faith, but the USA’s equalizer in the 80th minute left them somewhat shaken. Then Bilal Yalcinkaya scored the winning goal after coming on as a substitute shortly before the final whistle. Afterwards, faith returned and the team felt that everyone can contribute to success.

TIME ONLINE: German football is currently experiencing many failures. How do the coaching team Wück and Zietsch manage to break this trend again and again? Are you doing anything different?

Zietsch: I can only judge what we do. When nominating, we consciously pay attention to specialists in each position.

TIME ONLINE: That sounds like a given.

Zietsch: Let’s take Noah Darvich, our playmaker. He may be a little weaker against the ball than others. But we say: In almost all important situations that an attacking midfielder faces, he makes the right decisions. He sets up a striker perfectly or scores the goal himself. This is how he decides games. That’s why FC Barcelona brought him.

TIME ONLINE: As a former defender, you are responsible for the defense for the U17. You made Nuremberg’s Finn Jeltsch a central defender, and since winning the European Championship he has also been playing that role in the club.

Zietsch: Finn is a similar case. He can improve in his build-up play, but he defends the goal with everything he has. This is the inherent competence of a defender and is our priority. In the European Championship final he made two mistakes in the build-up to the game, but then he clarified the situations with all his effort. He has an extremely high quality of protecting his goal. Basically, it was also clear at the Men’s World Cup in Qatar that the central defenders of the successful teams were not characterized by long diagonal passes, but because they were very good at blocking strikers’ path to the goal and stealing the ball from them.

As a player, Rainer Zietsch, 59, was German champion with VfB Stuttgart (1984), and met Diego Maradona in the 1989 UEFA Cup final. After his professional career, he headed the youth performance center of 1. FC Nürnberg for a decade. He has been assistant coach to Christian Wücks since 2016, and the two are currently the most successful youth coaches in the DFB. This year they became European and world champions with the U17.

TIME ONLINE: Mr. Zietsch, you first became European champions and now world champions with the German U17s. No team has ever achieved this before. Has Germany not forgotten how to play football?

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending