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Germany players past and present can see what’s special about Niclas Füllkrug

The burning question now: will Hansi Flick agree enough to start him?

Germany v Japan: FIFA World Cup 2022 Photo by Serhat Cagdas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Germany players past and present can see that little extra something Werder Bremen striker Niclas Füllkrug brings to the national team setup. Now, with qualification on the line, the question on everybody’s mind: will Hansi Flick trust his man of the hour enough with a start today against Costa Rica?

Let’s hear from Miroslav Klose — who helped Germany lift a World Cup in 2014 in the last major tournament where they could feature a traditional number nine.

“He has a certain presence in the penalty box and a good nose for situations,” the ex-Bayern Munich and Lazio forward said (via @iMiaSanMia). “He brings a good package for a striker: good finishing inside the box, he’s two footed and strong with headers

“I heard his interviews after the Spain game and immediately noticed that he doesn’t get carried away. He knows that more still has to come. When I see how he conducts himself and from what I heard from the team, I can only say: that’s exemplary. Football needs such guys.”

It’s not only Füllkrug’s on-field abilities, but his presence that can be a lift to teammates. But who knows? Maybe his fox-in-the-box profile is just the secret ingredient needed to unlock the shooting boots of the gifted technicians who will surround him.

“As soon as he’s on the pitch, the opponent’s focus will shift away from Jamal [Musiala], Thomas [Müller] or Leroy [Sané], because there will be someone in the penalty box to watch out for,” Klose mused. “That will automatically free up space for the others.”

Starting center-back Antonio Rüdiger of Real Madrid seems to agree. After the Spain match, he enthused: “He gives us something in front that we didn’t have!”

As for Füllkrug, he named Klose as one of his inspirations in the pre-game press conference — a comparison which flattered the Germany legend.

“That’s really nice to hear, because it means I did something right as a footballer,” Klose said graciously. “Niclas’ statement is a big compliment for me. I’m even happier that a striker from my ex-club Werder has the chance to show what he can do.”

Whether that’s also going to mean helping his country lift a World Cup trophy — hey, why not dream big?

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!

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