As Germany prepares to host the 2024 edition of the European Championships, its men’s national team could not be in worse footballing shape. From the standpoint of one of the Bundesliga’s top managers, one thing has much to do with the other.
“In my opinion, playing only friendly games is not good,” said Leverkusen coach and Bayern Munich alum Xabi Alonso recently, as captured by @iMiaSanMia. “Two years of friendlies is not good for the mentality.”
As host nation, Germany is exempt from the sometimes brutal qualifying process — where even being in an easier group still means ten competitive fixtures and a perfect qualifying record to chase.
Nevertheless, like many others, Alonso expects Germany to somehow shape up in time for EURO 2024 to begin — and he put in a good word for former Bundesliga colleague Julian Nagelsmann, who is already under scrutiny.
“They have good players, a good coach, Euros at home,” continued the 42-year-old Spaniard. “I’m quite certain we’ll see a new energy at the Euros. Criticism [of the coach] is normal in football. Julian is not new to the business, so it’s not a problem. I’m expecting Germany to play a strong tournament next year.”
Looking for more thoughts and analysis on Germany’s disastrous international break? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Show on Spotify or below: