National team: Flick starts World Cup countdown for Japan game

No more resting and leisure activities: Hansi Flick starts the short but intensive training countdown in Qatar for the first game of the German national soccer team at the World Cup.

National team: Flick starts World Cup countdown for Japan game

No more resting and leisure activities: Hansi Flick starts the short but intensive training countdown in Qatar for the first game of the German national soccer team at the World Cup.

After settling in for the first time in the World Cup base at the northernmost tip of the Emirates, the national coach scheduled the first team training session at the Al Shamal Stadium for the morning (local time). The training facility is just a few minutes' drive from the Zulal Wellness Resort, where the DFB entourage is staying.

Landmark game against Japan

"On Matchday minus 4, our focus on Japan begins," Flick announced. Before the start of the World Cup tournament next Wednesday (2 p.m. / ARD and MagentaTV), the national coach has to find the right personnel for the trend-setting group start. The second opponent is Spain just four days later. Underdogs Costa Rica complete Group E. Group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16.

"We have to take every training session seriously. We're totally focused and we'll give our all for the first game. We're going really high now, we're motivated to start well against Japan," said captain Manuel Neuer after the less than edifying test against said Oman, which the national team won 1-0 in Muscat.

Flick still wants to work on all processes, "whether it's defensive or offensive". All 26 World Cup players should be available to him. Attacker Thomas Müller and defender Antonio Rüdiger should also train with the team for the first time after their injury breaks. At least that was Flick's plan. Marc-André ter Stegen, who was absent from Oman due to a gastrointestinal infection, should also get involved in the preparations. The goalkeeper had only joined the DFB entourage in Qatar after his recovery. Neuer suspects that Flick will face a tricky starting eleven: "The coach is spoiled for choice."

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