ANDthe last game of Hansi-Dieter Flick (Heidelberg, 1965) in a World Cup it was in the Maracana, in 2014, the day Germany sewed its fourth star on its chest after beating Argentina with a goal from goetze. The current selector was the second of low At that time, the brain of a team that dominated the strategy like few others and that designed the 1-7 approach against Brazil in the semifinals.
That appointment in Brazil was the last with the national team, of his own free will, until the federation recruited him again after the last Euro Cup, this time to be the headliner and lead the resurrection of a team that has hit it hard in the last two appointments Backed by his spectacular results at Bayern, with a sextet included, flick faces the challenge of putting Germany back among the best. This is what he assures in an interview with MARCA, already with the match of 27-N against Spain in his head.
Ask. How many hours a day do you think about the World Cup?
Response. With the tournament so close, our attention is now solely focused on the World Cup in Qatar. It’s a 24/7 problem. My coaching team and I are immersed in the final preparations and we don’t rest for a minute.
Q. Did you miss the adrenaline of a World Cup? In his last game he was world champion.
A. Playing in a World Cup final and being able to win it is a unique experience, you can’t beat it. In any case, there is no greater task and honor than representing your country in a World Cup. So definitely yeah, I missed this feeling. I really want to experience another World Cup.
Nothing beats the feeling of winning a World Cup
Q. Do you feel more pressure now as the first coach?
R. Of course, now I have more responsibility and I am more in the public eye. As an assistant coach you don’t experience that in such an extreme way. But what hasn’t changed is that we are tackling this great task of the World Cup together as a team. One alone cannot succeed.
Q. Germany, Spain, Costa Rica and Japan. Is it the group of death?
R. I don’t know if it is the most difficult group, it is always very difficult to predict this in the run-up to a tournament, but, indeed, it is not an easy group. Rather, this group is a real challenge.
Q. How do you see the selection?
A. Spain is a great soccer nation and again this year they have an outstanding team with great individual players. I have a lot of respect for Luis Enrique and I am sure that he will put together a team that will play for the title. I don’t expect anything else.
Q. You faced Spain in the 2008 Euro and in the 2010 World Cup. Has Spain changed much?
R. The Spanish team has always evolved, it has never stopped. And yet, he always has his own unmistakable style. That speaks very well of Spain.
Q. And how do you beat this Spain?
R. With a little luck, we will see it on the night of November 27 [risas].
Q. Does Germany have more pressure than ever after the World Cup in Russia and the last Euro?
R. The pressure in Germany is always great, the expectations are very high before each tournament. That has less to do with poor performance in Russia and more to do with the great successes of the past. But we do not feel any external pressure, we have the highest demands on ourselves.
Q. How is Flick in a tournament like this? Is he a very rigid trainer?
A. A team does not function without clear rules and discipline. But also not without a certain degree of freedom and personal responsibility. The mix has to be just right.
Spain has an unmistakable style… and it has never stopped evolving
Q. In the draw for the last Euro, we saw you talking at length with Luis Enrique. What did they say?
A. What is discussed in private should remain private. But I will say this: It was a very nice conversation.
Q. Do you like Luis Enrique as a coach?
R. He is a fantastic coach and a great personality. I have great respect for him as a coach and I appreciate him a lot as a person.
Q. What is more difficult, preparing a season with Bayern or a World Cup with Germany?
A. Both are challenges that are a lot of fun. However, it is particularly difficult to prepare for the first World Cup in winter without having time for this preparation. But all nations have to deal with these special circumstances this year, so we won’t talk about this much either.
It has been good for us that Rüdiger has gone to Madrid, there he will take the next step
Q. I have to ask about Rüdiger. How have you seen his adaptation to LaLiga and Madrid?
R. Antonio Rüdiger has grown fantastically in recent years. He is a pillar in the national team and now also in Real Madrid. I think it is good that he has gone to Spain. Here you can take the next step.
Q. And I ask you about what could be one of the sensations of the World Cup: Musiala.
R. Jamal has the potential to do it. It’s fun to watch him on the pitch, his joy for soccer is contagious and his youthful lightness is intoxicating.
Q. To finish: What is the best thing about this German team?
A. Successful German national teams have always been characterized by a special team spirit. Winning teams learned from their mistakes, drew the right conclusions, and worked very hard, not only before but also during a tournament. We want to be part of these teams.
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Hansi Flick: “A team doesn’t work without clear rules and discipline”