National team: Flick's Spanish World Cup lessons are encouraging: New basic trust

When the desert sun burned mercilessly from the sky in Qatar, Hansi Flick had long since learned his Spanish World Cup lessons.

National team: Flick's Spanish World Cup lessons are encouraging: New basic trust

When the desert sun burned mercilessly from the sky in Qatar, Hansi Flick had long since learned his Spanish World Cup lessons. After the collective effort in the 1-1 draw against the indomitable feared opponent, the national players got the promised time-out with friends and families at the pool.

In the luxury quarters of the national football team - as well as in the critical homeland - after the trouble of the late equalizer of the new center forward hero Niclas Füllkrug, a totally messed up World Cup opening week again, a positive tournament mood prevailed.

"Mentality", "Determination", "Self-Conception". Those were the words that the noticeably relieved Flick chose again and again. Having set the right joker with the filling jug was the decisive move against the World Cup doubts that also arose with the national coach.

Flick wants to tackle the rendezvous with the rescuer Costa Rica on Thursday (8 p.m. / ARD and MagentaTV), which will be decisive for the fate of the tournament, with new basic trust. The whole truth in the still tender tournament euphoria was that the World Cup knockout would have been fixed without the unexpected victory of the Central Americans against Japan, despite the great effort against Spain that followed.

"Football is a result game"

Now Germany, bottom of Group E, needs a win against Costa Rica to avoid a second early embarrassing knockout. to avoid Russia 2018. "If we progress, the point will be the sticking point," said Thomas Müller about the Spain draw. But the tournament veteran also warned: "History is made in retrospect and not in advance. Football is a bare result game."

With just one word, Müller set the new style in the DFB bubble in the north of Qatar. "Together," he wrote on Twitter in English. "Together." This matter of course in a World Cup squad had not been noticeable in the days leading up to the Spain showdown. A slashing and stabbing was only denied with little effort. Everything should be fine now. "We are a team. We have a good relationship, even if it is to be read differently," Flick was quoted as saying on Monday on the DFB website.

This statement was garnished by the words, which were unusually martial for the national coach, who had just been accused of being too nice: "There are warriors on the pitch who play with heart. If we take this momentum with us - and we have even more self-confidence get - then a lot is possible."

Füllkrug brought the necessary goal punch

What is really possible remains vague even after the big fight against Spain. Flick made a secret of his whisper with Luis Enrique after the final whistle. "I'll say what we discussed when the time comes," said the national coach about the tête-à-tête with his Spanish colleague, whom he admires. Flick's smile suggested that the two had arranged to meet again at Lusail Stadium on December 18 - the day of the World Cup final.

Of course, Flick is aware that winning the first point against Spain in a major tournament since 1994 could only dispel the worst fears of the World Cup. After an intense game in the Al-Bait Stadium in Al-Khour, the very high goals are still a long way off. "We know that we have only taken the first step. But of course we want to see that in the next game against Costa Rica we simply create the conditions for us to get into the knockout phase," emphasized the 57-year-old.

Flick's own big contribution was his successful substitutions in contrast to the 1: 2 against Japan. Captain Manuel Neuer made the promise that the game was "won" from the bench. That's how the draw felt not only for the record goalkeeper after his 18th World Cup appearance, but also for many of the 17 million TV viewers at home - a high for the Qatar World Cup. The fact was: The Bremen filling jug brought the necessary goal punch and was celebrated for it by the astonished world press. Neuer said: "He's great as a guy - and as a player too."

Still without a win after two games

As another flick joker, Leroy Sané brought the necessary speed with him after his knee injury. And just as important: the change allowed Jamal Musiala to take center stage and finally twirl with all his ease. Flick will definitely consider these three offensive options for his Costa Rica starting eleven.

"Leroy brought what he can do to the pitch, what we appreciate about him," said Flick's assistant Marcus Sorg. Like David Raum, who has a rib injury, the Munich player should be fit for the duel against Costa Rica on Thursday, said assistant coach Danny Röhl.

Ilkay Gündogan could suffer more, for whom Flick would once again have no place in the three-way battle of the central alpha animals with Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. But the midfield virtuoso also joined the new team spirit. "I think we're now in the tournament where we wanted to be and it's not about the individual anymore, it's about the team."

But Müller's warning reverberates. Four years ago in Russia, after the opening defeat against Mexico (0-1) and the emotional encouragement against Sweden (2-1) in the second game, Joachim Löw's World Cup schedule seemed to be delayed. The end then came against South Korea (0:2). In Qatar, for the first time in its glorious World Cup history, which has been crowned with four titles, Germany is still without a win after two games.

The just-timely change of mood in Germany was registered internationally with the well-known stereotypes. "On a night when we expected to wave goodbye to the Germans, they simply showed their age-old resilience," wrote the English tabloid The Sun. Italy's La Republica noted: "Under the laws of the World Cup, there is one proven classic above all: never give up on Germany."

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