DFB team at World Cup in need: “I had a very big anger in me”

Dhe German national soccer team, which got into serious trouble in the first game of the World Cup after beating Japan 2-1, is looking for a lifeline in the Persian Gulf. After the shock on Wednesday, the world looks a little better two days later and two days before the Spain duel on Sunday (8 p.m. CET in the FAZ live ticker for the World Cup, on ZDF and on MagentaTV). Kai Havertz, who took his place on the podium at the German training center in al-Shamal, in the very north of Qatar, said at the press conference: “We’re having a bad moment right now, but the game can be the turnaround for us.”

Tobias Rabe

Responsible editor for Sport Online.

After Japan and before Spain, there has recently been a lot of talk about Mexico and Sweden. At the 2018 World Cup, the Germans first lost and then won, albeit happily thanks to a late feat by Toni Kroos. The end, the first of a German team after the preliminary round of a World Cup, came against South Korea anyway. It shouldn’t end like that this time, but the danger of the next crash of the former tournament team is immense. Julian Brandt, who sat next to Havertz, therefore made another calculation: that of the 2021 European Championship.

At the time, the Germans lost 1-0 to France in Munich at the start of the very strong preliminary round group through Mats Hummels’ own goal. Then it was against Portugal. “In the end we made it. The troops know such situations,” said Brandt. Joachim Löw’s squad won 4-2 and then trembled into the round of 16 with a late equalizer against Hungary with warm regards from Leon Goretzka. But the comparison is flawed. At that time, the third in the group also had a chance. At the World Cup, only two teams advance to the next round.

Havertz: No further gesture planned

On Sunday, the group opponents Japan and Costa Rica will play Spain before the German duel. The constellation in the table will be known before kick-off. In the worst-case scenario, a win is a must so as not to be without a chance of progressing before the final game against Costa Rica on Thursday. Brandt doesn’t think that far. Rather, the Spain game is “an opportunity to turn the whole mood”. With a win you can “release a lot of energy,” said Dortmund, who, unlike Havertz, was not used against Japan.

Thoughtful at the press conference: Julian Brandt (right)


Thoughtful at the press conference: Julian Brandt (right)
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Image: AFP

In the hours since the 1: 2, a lot has been analyzed in the German camp and on Thursday there was also a large group of talks with the coaching staff. “Everyone knows what’s going on after the meeting,” Havertz said. “We all left the meeting room with the feeling that we were going to win the game,” added Brandt, who also reported that the scenes were shown and discussed in which what national coach Hansi Flick had said had not been implemented player expected. There was also discussion among themselves.

Havertz confirms that the national coach was not just “nice” in his speech. “The last thing you can blame the coach for is that he doesn’t speak clearly to us,” he said. It was the “time” to “talk to each other and tell each other the truth,” Havertz emphasized: “You tackle it sometimes.” The stimulating climate, which is intensified by criticism of the team, is said to be in al-Khor be converted into positive energy as far as possible on Sunday. “I can understand negativity coming up. I know there’s a lot of shooting going on against us. But there’s no point in thinking negatively,” said Havertz.

He himself has left the bad mood behind. “I was very angry,” Havertz said of his condition after the defeat against Japan. The debate about the “One Love” bandage, which determined the days around the start before the sporting problems came to the fore, should no longer play a role. “We have expressed our opinion clearly enough. Everyone knows how we think. Our focus is now 100 percent on football,” said Havertz.

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