In the 1000th international match, local hero Niclas Füllkrug and the offensive all-rounder Kai Havertz should form the German attack in Bremen. Sports director Völler has a lot of confidence in the duo.
In the national coach’s plans, scoring goals in the 1000th international match becomes a case for two. After the botched soccer World Cup, Hansi Flick increasingly relies on a double lead on the offensive.
And that’s in training before the anniversary game on Monday (6 p.m. / ZDF) in Bremen against the Ukraine Werders local hero Niclas Füllkrug and the Chelsea star Kai Havertz, who is currently being courted internationally. A duo that DFB sports director Rudi Völler has a lot of confidence in.
Havertz can “play four or five positions at a world-class level up front,” Völler enthused about the player, who became a professional during his managerial tenure at Bayer Leverkusen. And the former world-class attacker Völler said about Füllkrug: “Niclas is someone who can score goals, so there’s a lot going for him.” Six goals in six international matches is the remarkable rate for fan favorite Füllkrug, who is already 30 but a latecomer to the national team.
Filling jug the classic nine
Füllkrug embodies the type of classic nine, “which hardly exists anywhere in the world,” as Völler regrets. Flick has to improvise and find flexible solutions for the 2024 home European Championship. Meanwhile, Völler strengthens the filling jug. “We’re delighted to have the top scorer in the Bundesliga in our ranks.” Füllkrug, who as a player “defines himself through goals”, as he puts it, a meager 16 goals this season were enough to win the Bundesliga top scorer together with Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku.
Füllkrug with his power and final strength and Havertz with his fine technique and also a pronounced goal instinct could work as a double top. Another thing they have in common is that their future in Bremen or at Chelsea FC is uncertain despite ongoing contracts until 2025 – especially with Havertz.
Chelsea failed to qualify for the Champions League in the Premier League and will not play internationally in the coming European Championship season. Havertz fan Völler is also curious to see “how Kai’s future path will be”. Havertz was last traded as a candidate at Real Madrid.
On Sunday, one day before his 35th international match, Havertz will be 24. The offensive player is now “not part of the very young generation, but he is a seasoned national player,” Völler commented on Havertz’s current DFB status: “One , who almost cannot be absent when we have important international matches.”
Völler literally goes into raptures when he talks about “de Kai”. “He’s not just an outstanding ten, that’s how we made him big in Leverkusen. He can also come down the flanks and play on the eight. And due to the lack of great center forwards worldwide, he’s also a sought-after nine at the moment.” And that at Flick alongside Füllkrug.
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