This is how Bierhoff assesses Germany’s World Cup chances

fFor DFB Director Oliver Bierhoff, the German team at the World Cup in Qatar is “not the tournament favourites”, but nevertheless a candidate for winning the title. First of all, it is crucial to start the tournament successfully against Japan. “We are warned to be fully focused from the first minute. Then anything is possible with the team,” said Bierhoff on Saturday in Al-Shamal. He sees “no super team” in the field of participants, but named Argentina and Brazil as “strong” teams.

After Thomas Müller and Antonio Rüdiger, who were recently injured, were able to complete the first team training session, Bierhoff sees all the options for national coach Hansi Flick in the line-up next Wednesday (2 p.m. CET in the FAZ live ticker for the World Cup, on ARD and on MagentaTV ) in the Chalifa International Stadium against the first group opponents Japan. “It would be bad if Hansi had no options, that would give me a headache,” said Bierhoff. The national coach already has the core of the starting eleven in mind.

Neuer: Can “get into a flow”.

Captain Manuel Neuer also emphasized the importance of a good start to the tournament in the DFB press conference before his fourth World Cup. If you are successful in the opening game, you can “get into a flow” as a team. The counter-example was the 0-1 draw against Mexico four years ago in Russia. At that time, the DFB selection was eliminated after the group stage.

Meanwhile, the first team training session in Qatar took place without Niclas Füllkrug. The Bremen center forward was absent from the German national team’s unity on Saturday morning at the Al-Shamal Sports Club stadium because of a flu infection. It is unclear whether the 29-year-old will be available in the German World Cup opener against Japan. “You can’t make an exact forecast,” said Bierhoff, looking ahead to the first group game. However, the DFB doctors believed that there would be enough time and that the 29-year-old would be “ready” for the start of the German group. Füllkrug scored the winning goal on his international debut in the difficult 1-0 win in the last World Cup friendly on Wednesday in Muscat against Oman.

Bayern professional Müller and Real defender Rüdiger returned to team training as planned after being out for several weeks due to injury. In the first quarter of an hour, which was public for the media, which Flick opened with two short, loud whistles, neither had any recognizable problems. Müller had to pause at Bayern because of muscular problems, as did defender Antonio Rüdiger, who had a hip injury, at Real Madrid.

Flick had 25 players from his World Cup squad with him for the unit. Substitute goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen was able to train with captain Neuer and Kevin Trapp after his gastrointestinal infection, which forced him to travel to the Persian Gulf late.

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