Spain vs Germany: Clash of contrasts promises to be the game of the group stage
When the draw for the FIFA World Cup was confirmed in April, even a total football novice could put their finger on this fixture to be the match of the group stages.
Add to that what’s on the line. Coach Hansi Flick described the game as Germany’s “first final” of this tournament, knowing another defeat, following their shock 1-2 loss to Japan on Wednesday, would more or less guarantee their elimination at the group stage for the second consecutive World Cup for the very first time. One way or another, this promises to be an unmissable spectacle of football drama. (Read More)
Germany stood up for what matters; now to regain that winning mentality to once again stand tall
A group exit in the 2018 World Cup; a round-of-sixteen ouster in the Euros; and another group stage departure looms in Qatar, if they lose to Spain on Sunday evening. The perennial tournament team, four-time World Cup winners, three-time European champions—they even have coined a word for that in Germany, turniermannschaft, or the (big) tournament team, and for good reason—now ripped off their most enduring identity. In the past, less-gifted, less-skilled German teams, with little odds for a prolonged run, have entered the World Cup but gnawed and gnashed and gritted their path of glory.
Oh that familiar German mentality. Thomas Muller had once said: “The decisive factor is that we not only have class, we have a mentality, These players know how to win, they’ve proven it. We’re not just anyone.” (Read More)
Hansi Flick breaks FIFA rules by handling press duties alone
Germany manager Hansi Flick defied FIFA rules as he sat alone for the press conference ahead of their crucial Group E clash against Spain on Sunday. The FIFA rules suggest a player alongside the manager must appear at a press conference the day before a game, but Flick told his players to focus on training.
Since all media briefings have to be at FIFA’s main media centre in Doha, the German coach had to travel over 200 km from their Al Shamal training base for the pre-match press conference. (Read More)