Hansi Flick
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Germany’s national coach Hansi Flick is required. © Christian Charisius/dpa

Hansi Flick has to provide solutions. Against Spain’s goal machine, the DFB-Elf must not get into disarray. Otherwise the World Cup is sealed. The national coach is also under pressure personally.

Al-Shamal – With courage, character and clear heads against Spain: For the final against the impending World Cup knockout, Hansi Flick now activates all his mental powers. “The goal is to get the team to believe that they can push things in the right direction,” said the national coach before the duel between the former world champions on Sunday (8 p.m. / ZDF and Magenta TV). Al Bait Stadium north of Doha. In the late afternoon, the national coach invites the team to train again at the Trutzburg Stadium in Al-Shamal on Friday.

The initial shock of the 1-2 draw against Japan must not leave any traces on the national soccer team. Except for a large dose of defiance. This is the only way to achieve the urgently needed World Cup turnaround against the feared opponent who has not been defeated in a competitive game for 34 years. “We have a lot of good scenes that we can show the team with a view to Spain,” said Flick, in a way, encouraging himself. Despite numerous points of criticism, the 57-year-old sees no reason for general doubts.

Flick: “We trust the team”

Even after the early and radical disillusionment, no general upheaval can be expected from Flick. “We trust the team. We’re positive and we want to approach the game positively,” he said. The defensive variant with Niklas Süle as right-back should be over. In midfield, Flick has to clarify whether he can find a place for Leon Goretzka around Joshua Kimmich and the new chief critic Ilkay Gündogan. The national coach may also be annoyed that he didn’t let Jamal Musiala play more centrally against Japan.

Decisions have to be made. Flick feels that fear would be a bad advisor now. Who can keep the necessary calm in crisis mode? Who can shake off the memory of the embarrassing knockout four years ago in Russia and the déjà vu worries? “It’s about having the courage to show yourself. We have to see that each individual makes their game better for themselves,” emphasized the national coach.

Starting position remains precarious

The starting position remains precarious. Even if Japan were to draw against World Cup shooting gallery Costa Rica and lose to Spain, the end would be sealed – for the DFB team and possibly also for Flick as national coach. Flick cannot build on history either. In the last competitive win at the 1988 European Championship, Rudi Völler scored both goals to make it 2-0. Whether Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich or Gündogan, many have never been able to win against Spain. From Flick’s World Cup squad, only Thomas Müller, Antonio Rüdiger and Mario Götze made it: 1-0 in the test eight years ago on a rainy night in Vigo. dpa

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