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World Cup qualification 2022: Germany wins in North Macedonia


His record as national coach is flawless: Under Hansi Flick, the national team seems convinced of itself again - and calls out big goals. It is completely open whether it is good enough for this.

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That was quick: Manuel Neuer considers the World Cup title to be "realistic"


With the qualification for the World Cup in Qatar, the German national team fulfilled their obligation early on, the remaining group games, against Liechtenstein in Wolfsburg in mid-November and the game in Armenia a few days later, have lost their importance. It is said that there have been national players in the past, including highly decorated ones, who suffered from muscular problems or irritation of the patellar tendon on such occasions. As if such internationals were annoying.

And now?

“I don't think there are players asking for clearance.

Everyone is up for the national team, "said captain Manuel Neuer after the 4-0 win against North Macedonia in rainy Skopje and already looked a year ahead to Qatar, which was still warm in November:" We want to play a big role in the World Cup to play."

Title »realistic« - after victories against Liechtenstein and North Macedonia

Neuer, 35, had previously claimed that the title was »realistic«, and that is why the much younger players probably dared to take cover.

Kai Havertz, 22, said on RTL: “When we play for Germany, the goal is always to win titles, to achieve the highest possible goal.

That's why we will travel there like this. "

Now the elite selection of the DFB under the new national coach Hansi Flick has got 15 out of 15 possible points, scored 18 goals and conceded only one. But the opponents were also from the second and third category, so the brisk tone was a bit surprising, especially since Flick's introduction humbly pointed out that the way back to the top of the world was the goal. And to win the title - that was what Neuer wanted to do at the 2018 World Cup and the European Championship last summer. Instead, the team failed in the preliminary round or in the round of 16.

After the game in Skopje, it sometimes sounded as if the route had been mastered and the new guide was responsible for it, and he alone.

Flick, it seems, has seamlessly transferred his communication skills and his ability to motivate from FC Bayern to the DFB selection.

In addition to the usual humility (»There's still a long way to go.«), He sorted his team into the top shelf despite two tournaments that went badly to very badly: »On the quality of our players, if you look at where they have to play to put it simply, they also have the quality to hold their own against Italy, Spain, France, Belgium.

I'm very confident about that. "

"Wild" first half

However, players from Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain also made mistakes against North Macedonia that a stronger opponent would probably have exploited.

In the first half it was "wild", as Flick said, there were a lot of bad passes and at times defensive behavior that built on the opponent's weaknesses.

When the national coach was asked about these moments, he replied that there was another motivation against top teams.

In the past few years it has rarely happened that the German national team won against a top team despite the corresponding motivation.

But, according to Flick: "With this mentality, a lot can be done."

Charm of the new under flick

The effect that the DFB hoped for with the commitment has occurred.

The coach may be a little too bright, especially compared to his predecessor Joachim Löw, who was unable to dispel the dark clouds over the selection in the last few years of his long successful tenure.

Flick successfully exploits the allure of the new.

He gave the team back the belief that they are stronger than most of the rest of the world and at least as strong as the rest.

The comparisons with Italy, Spain, France, Brazil, that is, the great nations, have not yet been made.

Liechtenstein, Armenia, Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia are the opponents that Flick can hook.

The qualification for the World Cup has thus been achieved, the basic trust of German football fans that Löw had already lost before the start of the European Championship last summer.

The desire for the national team seems to be back.

Even in dreary November, against Liechtenstein in Wolfsburg and in the cold in Yerevan.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2021-10-12

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