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National team: Arrival in a cloudburst: Nagelsmann starts EM fine-tuning

National team: Arrival in a cloudburst: Nagelsmann starts EM fine-tuning

The DFB entourage is moving from Thuringia to Franconia. There they are greeted by a cloudburst. Nevertheless, the fans are still very excited about the European Championship. Their eyes are also turning to London.

In the pouring rain, Julian Nagelsmann did not lose his sense of humor when he arrived at the European Championship team headquarters. “The weather is crap. But that’s not my fault. I always ate everything,” joked the national coach at the enthusiastic fan reception not far from the home ground despite the downpour. Around 2,000 fans braved the cool water to catch a glimpse of the national soccer players at a show event organized by equipment supplier Adidas. “It’s great that you’re all here,” Manuel Neuer called out to the crowd.

The mood was exuberant. The national coach and the players, wearing white rain jackets, signed autographs and posed for selfies. The fan anthem “Major Tom” rang out from the speakers. Goalkeeper Neuer and Leverkusen’s double winner Florian Wirtz shot shirts into the crowd from black, red and gold cannons.

As with the first training camp in Thuringia, the DFB team was given a premonition of a great summer of football by the fans’ joy. “The signs are good when you have such a reception,” said Thomas Müller late on Friday afternoon.

By ICE to Franconia

The national team players had come to Herzogenaurach directly from the ICE train from Erfurt to Erlangen. They had trained again in Thuringia that morning. Neuer was sure to get involved in the goalkeeping exercises for his comeback plan.

The national team now wants to start the second stage of preparation for the home tournament at DFB supplier Adidas, which will be replaced by US market leader Nike in 2027 for many millions of euros. Nagelsmann expressed his satisfaction after the first phase.

“We had top conditions in the training camp. Although not all players could be there for the entire period, partly due to the finals of the DFB Cup and the Champions League, we made the most of the days and made good progress as a team,” he said on Friday.

The mood and tournament optimism have continued to grow in Blankenhain, even if the workload has been limited by the coaching staff. “We had to give the boys a little breathing room right from the start so that they could tick the season off, mentally too,” said Nagelsmann.

Völler expects fine-tuning

Sporting director Rudi Völler likes what he sees. Nevertheless, he sees no reason for excessive euphoria. “We don’t need to freak out that everything is working well. The days here in Weimar were just a taste of things, now comes the fine-tuning in Herzogenaurach,” said the 64-year-old.

On Saturday, the focus will also be on London at the “Home Ground”. Coaches, players, support staff – everyone will be sitting in front of the TV screens, eagerly watching who will be crowned the best club team in Europe at Wembley Stadium. Borussia Dortmund with goal scorer Niclas Füllkrug and defender Nico Schlotterbeck or Real Madrid with the leaders Toni Kroos and Antonio Rüdiger, who are set to be in the German starting eleven for the European Championship.

“I wish all four players a win in the final,” Nagelsmann said diplomatically beforehand. “But not all four will make it, only two.” So at the beginning of the week he will welcome two beaming Champions League champions and two frustrated losers to his quarters. “Of course, when you lose a Champions League final, it hurts a lot. But in the end, the European Championship simply outshines everything,” Nagelsmann believes. Kroos, Rüdiger, Füllkrug, Schlotterbeck, “all of them are super focused” as the tournament approaches.

Two more tests against Ukraine and Greece

On paper, Nagelsmann’s European Championship team is practically set. The formation that won the remarkable March victories against France (2-0) and Holland (2-1) is also set to start the tournament against Scotland on June 14. With one exception: Nagelsmann has earmarked Neuer as the European Championship goalkeeper. In March, the 38-year-old from Munich had to leave after an injury during training and was replaced by his eternal crown prince Marc-André ter Stegen. In training on Friday, Neuer demonstrated that he is ready for the comeback.

The field players’ formation in front of Neuer is as follows: Kimmich, Tah, Rüdiger, Mittelstädt – Andrich, Kroos – Musiala, Gündogan, Wirtz – Havertz. The clear allocation of roles by the national coach to the regulars, challengers and substitutes conveys “confidence and gives a good feeling,” said Leverkusen’s double winner Jonathan Tah. “But you shouldn’t sit back,” warned the 28-year-old, who is personally playing the best season of his career.

On Monday (8.45 p.m.), Nagelsmann can field his dream eleven, with the exception of Kroos and Rüdiger, for the penultimate European Championship test in Nuremberg against Ukraine. The Real duo will then only be involved in the European Championship dress rehearsal four days later in Mönchengladbach against Greece. Bayern striker Leroy Sané will then also be allowed to play again after his three-game suspension. For Völler, “the two international matches should not be underestimated, even if they are only preparation games.” He is hoping for victories three and four in the European Championship year. “That will give our own team more confidence, but of course also the population.”

Source: Stern

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