Tuesday, August 10, 2021
“The best are invited”
Flick surprises with the obvious
Hansi Flick has been the national coach since August 1st, and he doesn’t give his inaugural speech until nine days later. He surprises with a personality and a commitment: the best play. Sounds obvious, but it hasn’t been for years. Flick also talks about old and possibly new staff.
In the casually unbuttoned white shirt, Hansi Flick left no doubt about his expectations. The new national coach demands an “all-in mentality” from his national players, as he said during his presentation on the construction site of the DFB campus. For him, that means “that you give everything to leave the field as a winner. We will set an example, all of us.” On August 26th, the title collector signed up by FC Bayern wants to nominate his first squad – the door is open.
“The best are invited when they get top performance,” said Flick. “If you get top performance, you are also part of the team.” This meant in particular the Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller – and Marco Reus, who were ultimately brought back ineffectively by their predecessor Joachim Löw before the European Championship. Flick praised the Dortmund captain as one of “the best players in the last third” with “enormous technique”. Reus played his last of 44 international matches in October 2019. For years, his predecessor Joachim Löw had been accused of stubbornly and persistently clinging to his permanent staff – regardless of form and competition.
Even the quick return of Jérôme Boateng and Mario Götze does not seem to be ruled out. For Götze he is happy about his move to PSV Eindhoven last year and that he “got back on track and is performing,” said Flick. For his first international team he will have almost free choice. When asked whether there had been any further announcements of this kind after Toni Kroos’ resignation, the national coach replied: “Clearly no.”
“Will not go overnight”
The clear goal of the national team is to return to the top, with the experienced coach Hermann Gerland in the Flick team to help. “It will certainly not be that easy, but we have a very good team, the team is of enormous quality,” said Flick, who celebrated the World Cup title with Löw in 2014 as an assistant coach. “It won’t happen overnight, but we’ll do everything we can to achieve our goals.” Flick will have his first international matches as national coach at the beginning of September with a three-pack in the World Cup qualification against Liechtenstein, Armenia and Iceland. In the elimination group for the 2022 tournament in Qatar, the DFB selection that was eliminated in the European Championship round of 16 is currently third. Only the first in the table will definitely qualify for the World Cup.
“I’m overjoyed that we were able to win Hansi over,” said DFB director Oliver Bierhoff on Tuesday. “I am firmly convinced that we will start well in September.” Ex-national player Benedikt Höwedes, who will act in a new role as a link between the team and Bierhoff, said it felt “great” to be back.
The national team is “the most important football team” in the country, said DFB interim president Peter Peters. “We are aware that the DFB and also the national team need a spirit of optimism. (…) Hopefully we all stand for the spirit of optimism that this association urgently needs.” The association needs “its honor back. We hope that we can win back the people.”