HAnsi Flick first looked out the window in the unadorned meeting room on the new DFB campus, then he made a clear announcement to his World Cup candidates. “This is the starting signal towards the World Cup,” emphasized the national coach, “we have to get into tournament mode relatively quickly and perform well!”
He himself, said Flick when announcing his last squad before being nominated for Qatar, was already “absolutely in World Cup mode” – and pulled a big surprise out of the hat 69 days before the opening game against Japan. No Mario Götze, no Mats Hummels – but newcomer Armel Bella Kotchap is there. The 20-year-old defender, who switched from Bochum to FC Southampton in the summer, has “developed very, very well,” emphasized Flick.
“The door is still open”
Otherwise, he is in his 24-man squad for the final Nations League games on September 23 against leaders Hungary in Leipzig (8.45 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Nations League and on ZDF) and three days later (8.45 p.m. in the FAZ Live ticker for the Nations League and on RTL) against England in London on proven forces. But, emphasized the boss, who is still unbeaten in 13 international matches, everyone still has “every chance of jumping on the World Cup train. The door is still open for everyone” – expressly also for Götze and Hummels.
“We’re watching what he’s doing, it’s really good,” said Flick about World Cup hero Götze, “he looks very mature and is very important for Frankfurt.” it’s difficult to get in.” Hummels watched Flick in Manchester on Wednesday evening and was impressed. “He’s in very good shape and looks absolutely fit.”
Seven professionals from record champions Bayern Munich around captain Manuel Neuer and four players from Borussia Dortmund make up the bulk of the team. In addition to goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Christian Ginter and Robin Gosens are returning. Benjamin Henrichs, Lukas Klostermann (injured), Jonathan Tah, Anton Stach and Karim Adeyemi are no longer there.
“We’re looking closely,” said Flick about possible other World Cup candidates, which also include Julian Draxler or the injured Florian Wirtz and Florian Neuhaus. Flick can call up two more players for the World Cup (November 20 to December 18). There are vacancies in defense and in the center of attack. Flick is looking for a player “for the special moments” like Götze had with his golden goal in 2014.
Flick is inspired by the strong performance of the women’s national team with second place in the European Championship. “They played exciting football – that’s how we want to see it too: with a high level of intensity. They used everything they had to offer,” enthused Flick.
But the burden on his pros is much higher, which is why he allowed himself a little dig at the Bundesliga. This had refused him the request to forego Sunday games on the last day before the World Cup. “I would have liked to have been given more consideration,” he said. Flick will gather his players in Frankfurt on Monday, where they will be training on the new campus for the first time. For the goal of group victory and Final 4 in the Nations League, he wants to play “with the best eleven” – with the one who should reach for the fifth star in the desert.
Goal: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (FC Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Defense: Armel Bella Kotchap (FC Southampton), Matthias Ginter (SC Freiburg), Robin Gosens (Inter Milan), Thilo Kehrer (West Ham United), David Raum (RB Leipzig), Antonio Rüdiger (Real Madrid), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund) , Niklas Sule (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfield/Attack: Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City), Kai Havertz (Chelsea FC), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Lukas Nmecha (VfL Wolfsburg), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)