Jonathan Burkardt: A German jewel in the storm

So That is in these fast-moving times: A young striker scores a nice-looking goal in a Bundesliga game in which the national coach is sitting in the stands, and some experts are already reacting and recommending such a man for higher tasks. The national team also comes into play from time to time.

There were times when you would have been more cautious in such a case and would have advised the talent and the people who deal with him first to keep calm and develop further, step by step. And today? The way to Hansi Flick does not seem to be far for such a football player, in any case for some experts.

At FSV Mainz 05, however, you don’t have to fear that Jonathan Burkardt will take off the public praise he is currently receiving. Burkardt is 21 years old, and he seems to have a lot of grip on the ground. Accordingly, after the 2-0 win at TSG Hoffenheim on Saturday, he casually evaded the question of whether Flick’s presence in Sinsheim had particularly motivated him. “No,” Burkardt replied to Sky, “because we don’t even know who is in the stadium. It pushes us when the fans cheer us on. “

New captain of the U-21 team

However, one could not blame the Darmstadt-born man if he was on cloud nine these days. After the convincing second half of the season, with which the Mainz team managed to stay in the class, which was considered almost impossible, Burkardt made a significant contribution to the German U-21 national team’s title win at the European Championship. The Mainz resident canceled his participation in the Olympic Games in Tokyo because, due to persistent muscular problems, it seemed more sensible to build up his team carefully when preparing for the season than to rush into the next tournament.

But U-21 national coach Stefan Kuntz obviously did not hold this against him; the week before last he appointed the man from Mainz as captain. In the first game with the bandage on his arm, Burkardt contributed two goals to make it 6-0 in San Marino. And now this worth seeing 1-0 in Sinsheim: the ball just before the edge of the penalty area in the turn with the right and shot flat into the right corner with the left. “I tried to put the ball down as best as possible with the first contact and finish with the second,” said goal scorer Burkardt, summarizing the scene.

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The youngest of the four Mainz strikers was not only very present in this 21st minute. Burkardt was on the road a lot in this encounter, he went long distances, even at high speed, and got numerous free kicks. And despite the adrenaline that must have shot through his body, shortly after the final whistle he was sober enough to first pay tribute to the coach and colleagues in a brief analysis. Burkardt said of the team that it was their strength “that we have a good concept against the ball, that everyone is subject to this concept and everyone knows and carries out their task in this concept”. So a Mainz collective.

Bo Svensson was asked on Saturday what has changed Burkardt compared to the previous season. “He didn’t change anything,” said the coach and pushed as if he wanted to pour water into the wine: “One goal doesn’t finish everything.” In other words, the talented attacker still has to improve his scoring. He has the quality to do it, he has to prove it now. The coach, the teammates, and not least himself. Despite his youth, Burkardt is a very reflective player who is critical of his own performance.

Last season Burkardt scored two goals in 29 Bundesliga appearances, and even if he scored them in the first half of the season and in the second half of the season against Bayern and although he had made good appearances for months, this was not a satisfactory rate for a striker. “Jonny had a lot of problems with himself,” said Svensson on Saturday. “As a young player, he needs support in order to endure such phases and see them as part of his development.” Burkardt got it, and he continues to get it. “We believe in him, even if he doesn’t score. It is important that he believes in himself. ”Scoring such a decisive goal as against Hoffenheim in 1899 is helpful.

Burkardt extended his contract in Mainz by two years in the summer until the middle of 2024, under Svensson he wants to make the next progress. And then one day he could actually become a man for national coach Flick.

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