Germany’s first group stage match at the FIFA World Cup against Japan is right around the corner and Hansi Flick is looking to drastically improve upon Die Mannschaft’s horrendous showing at the 2018 tournament in Russia. They didn’t even make it out of the group then and it had essentially been the beginning of the end of Joachim Low’s reign as Germany manager.
As expected, there’s a heavy contingent of seven Bayern Munich players in Flick’s final squad for the World Cup and it should come as no surprise that Bayern is the most represented club team at the tournament. Manuel Neuer will wear the armband for Germany throughout their stay in Qatar and he recently spoke about the ways in which Flick is able to communicate with each and every player in the squad to ensure that everyone is on the same page going into a tournament that takes place halfway through the course of the club season.
“Hansi knows how to deal with every single player. He is very communicative and talks to the players a lot. He has a clear goal. I’ll take the 2020 Champions League tournament in Lisbon as an example. In a similar way, the coach is trying to swear us into the World Cup in Qatar, which admittedly is something new for all of us - because nobody had experienced a tournament in winter in the middle of the season before,” Neuer told both Tz’s Manuel Bonke and Philipp Kessler (via @iMiaSanMia).
Ever since their four-match winless run in the Bundesliga earlier in the season, Bayern has completely turned their fortunes around and the only match they haven’t won since then was the 2-2 draw at Borussia Dortmund. Julian Nagelsmann has been forced to deal with a handful of different injuries, too, but the quality in depth has seen Bayern carry on with a level of dominance that has got them back to the top of the Bundesliga table, through to the next round of the DFB-Pokal, and into the knockout stages of the Champions League with a perfect group stage record of six wins.
Neuer recently marked a return from a shoulder injury himself, and he’s played in three matches since then; wins against Hertha Belin, Werder Bremen, and Schalke 04. He knows that the Bayern players in the German squad will have to do everything they can to carry their club form of the the international stage for the World Cup. “We Bayern players are all doing well now and back on track. At least that’s my feeling. We simply have to take this feeling with us to Qatar, carry it into the team and transfer it to the other players,” he stressed.