On Tuesday, the classic between Germany and England will go up to the Nations League. Before the prestige duel, a super talent enters the scene, which England coach Gareth Southgate still mourns to this day.
Before the 38th meeting, England has the advantage in direct comparison with Germany with 17h13 of victories. The last game last year in the round of 16 was won by the Three Lions 2-0 and ended Joachim Löw’s long spell as German national coach. Under his successor Hansi Flick, the DFB-Elf have been unbeaten ever since. However, Germany’s last competitive win against England was in 2010 and a 4-1 win in the Round of 16 of the World Cup.
The respect for the other side is noticeable as the match approaches. “I expect an extremely strong opponent who is sprinkled with a very, very high individual quality which is perhaps unprecedented at the moment,” says Ilkay Gündogan, who knows English football very well as a player in Man City. “I feel” that the British could “create three national teams”.
Even the English coach Gareth Southgate does not hesitate to compliment his rival before the match. Together with Brazil, Germany is “the reference” in terms of tournament victories. “This is exactly the kind of test we need.” The 51-year-old is also impressed by his colleague Hansi Flick. “You can see many elements of what he did with Bayern.”
On Saturday, England conceded their first defeat against Hungary in 60 years after a poor performance. But Southgate’s own fans are more worried than the appearance in Budapest, and their misbehavior is also affecting his side’s performance. “You are ashamed when you hear about it,” says Southgate, fearing supporters will “embarrass us”. But he hopes “people will behave”.
Safety precautions in Munich are therefore important. Glass bottles have been banned in the city center since Monday afternoon and will last until midnight Tuesday. In addition, 880 English rioters had to surrender their passports to the police. Other than that, everyone involved is looking forward to the game. “It’s a great game for the fans and we hope everyone accepts it,” Southgate said.
England’s lost super talent
Jamal Musiala, born in Stuttgart, moved to England at the age of seven because his mother was on a scholarship to Southampton. Musiala then completed much of his football training in London and made a lasting impression on England manager Southgate at the age of ten in a school tournament. Despite several personal conversations, Southgate cannot inspire the super talent of the English national team.
Shortly before turning 18, the Bayern player decided to join the DFB in February 2021. It hurts Football England, where Musiala has found refuge in youth teams for almost nine years, to date. “When you train at FC Bayern every day and you’re surrounded by Munich and German players, it’s a bit more demanding. And of course his family has those strong ties,” explains Southgate’s understanding. Nevertheless , he regrets the defeat: “We knew he would be a good player. So we certainly would have liked to keep him.”
It does not work. Instead, Hansi Flick can now rely on Musiala – and can use it. The German national coach announced that “several players could be considered” to bring fresh impetus after the match against Italy. Will Southgate mourn the 19-year-old even more after today’s direct duel?