Jersey Swap: Jordi Alba
By a mile, Jordi Alba was the best player for Spain. Having assisted Alvaro Morata in making it 1-0 for Spain, he was crucial in building the Spanish attack. His experience proves invaluable in a young and raw squad like Spain. Bringing Spain into the final third on multiple occasions, winning crucial tackles and challenges, and creating multiple chances, he was everywhere and excellent. However, it was not only his quality that troubled Germany today — it could also have to do with a disaster of a performance by Thilo Kehrer.
Der Kaiser: Niklas Sule
The only defender that did not disappoint today was Niklas Sule. Making up for every Thilo Kehrer error is not an easy task but Sule took that up gracefully. Winning practically every duel, holding the defense together as the only ball-playing centre-back, Sule was far better than he was in the Japan game. He made crucial last-ditch tackles and clearances to bolster the defense. Most importantly, his passing was fantastic today — making both short and long-range passes effortlessly.
He also let Morata pass but honestly that was on Kehrer.
Fußballgott: Leon Goretzka
Perhaps Joshua Kimmich deserved this, but he gets zero points for having fumbled every set-piece he took.
Leon Goretzka is world-class. No questions. His sheer physicality, pace, combined with an eye for the game make him the best midfielder in Germany. He is a treasure for Bayern Munich. Also, that little moment with FC Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets was memorable!
The most memorable moment for the 26-year-old, however, was the last-minute sliding tackle, which should have led to a Leroy Sane goal. It takes guts to have made such a move when already carded, and who but Goretzka could do something like that?
Der Bomber: Leroy Sane
Leroy Sane was the game-changer for Germany and the team should NEVER, EVER play without him.
Germany looked lost, hopeless, lackluster and dead, until Sane came on. The moment he burst on the scene, he pushed the attack to a whole new level. His passing and dribbling were, as always, brilliant. His combination with Jamal Musiala was truly scintillating to watch. Though out of his favored position on the left, Sane displayed enormous amounts of creativity, even in recovery. Sane’s technical brilliance alone can take Germany past the Group Stage and beyond.
Let’s not talk about his last-minute miss, guys. It’s alright.
Meister of the Match:
Thomas Muller Niclas Fullkrug
Yes. You read it right. I hit the pause button on the Muller prop. Hopefully Ineednoname does not fire me.
Niclas Fullkrug has been the player to watch this tournament. After having received a glowing recommendation from Werder Bremen coach Ole Werner, Fullkrug had all eyes on him, entering his first-ever World Cup. Being improperly used really ruined things for Fullkrug in the Japan game but this game, he was going to do things right. Scoring Germany’s lone goal, the 29-year-old showed his brilliance. He was at the right place at the right time and that’s just what his team needed. The play from Sane to Musiala was fantastic, but the finish by Fullkrug was just simply beautiful. Incredible for someone who made their World Cup debut at the age of 29!
Interested in a VERY in-depth review of Germany’s 1-1 draw with Spain? Then why not check out the latest episode of our podcast? We talk about everything from lineups, tactics, and individual performances, to a discussion about Bayern Munich at the World Cup overall. Listen to it below or on Spotify.
As always, we appreciate all the support!