National team: Young star duo “Wusiala” conjures and delivers: “Simply happy”

National team: Young star duo “Wusiala” conjures and delivers: “Simply happy”
National team: Young star duo “Wusiala” conjures and delivers: “Simply happy”

In 2006, the kids “Poldi” and “Schweini” were the summer fairytale favorites. Now, at the home European Championships, there could be a remake of a different kind with Musiala and Wirtz. The Scotland trailer fits.

It was already after midnight when Jamal Musiala once again had the big stage in the Munich EM Arena all to himself. The award as “Man of the Match” meant that the outstanding footballer of the ecstatic opening evening gave the closing words in the large press room. And when asked by a reporter whether he had played the game of his life in the 5-1 win against Scotland, the 21-year-old answered in the affirmative without thinking twice. “You could say that,” replied the Bayern professional.

Musiala, Florian Wirtz, Ilkay Gündogan, Kai Havertz – and later Niclas Füllkrug as a joker: The offensive department delivered a performance that was almost worthy of a title, both individually and collectively, with wit and effectiveness in finishing. “Home European Championship, first game, we wanted to get off to a good start. I’m just happy that we scored so many goals. We can go into the next games with confidence,” said Musiala.

An intoxicating start with the label “Wusiala”

Even though national coach Julian Nagelsmann did not want to “highlight individual players” from a functioning community on the pitch, this splendid start to the home tournament naturally bore the label “Wusiala”. Musiala and Wirtz – the young stars were “on fire”.

And they set the biggest German victory in European Championship history on track with their early goals. Wirtz, who scored the 1-0 goal, is now the youngest German goalscorer at the European Championships at 21 years and 42 days. He replaced Kai Havertz, by the way. Musiala and Wirtz combined and gambled to their heart’s content with the penalty taker who made it 3-0 and with captain Ilkay Gündogan.

“We all have the same football idea up front. Ilkay creates something, with Kai you can combine. I think our connection will grow even further over the games,” enthused Musiala. He harmonizes and gets on well with his buddy Wirtz, who is the same age. 18 years after the summer fairytale favorites “Poldi” and “Schweini” at the home World Cup, Jamal and Flo could delight the football nation once again as “Wusiala”.

“We need the Wizards to be offensive”

Even if, unlike the then young kids Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger with their great entertainment value in the press, radio and television, they prefer to have the ball at their feet, they love and embody pure football on the pitch. “I have said often enough that we need the magicians in attack,” Nagelsmann noted.

And the football magician Musiala even surpassed the tournament debutant Wirtz on Friday evening. Musiala dribbled around the Scottish opponents like slalom poles. His passing accuracy was 100 percent. And he crowned his world-class performance with his powerful shot to make it 2-0. The crowd rose to their feet when Musiala was substituted, further encouraged to applaud thunderously by his Bayern colleague Thomas Müller, who came on for him.

The difference-maker duo “Wusiala” did what Nagelsmann demands of the young stars against the overwhelmed Scots. Magic “also requires quotas,” he said, referring to the goal tally of Musiala (now 30 international matches/3 goals) and Wirtz (19/2). For Musiala, the evening in his Munich football living room was therefore also an act of liberation, liberation from the shadow of the World Cup in Qatar.

“The balls didn’t go in at the World Cup”

Musiala has set himself high goals for his third tournament after the 2021 European Championship, with few minutes of action as a DFB trainee and the botched 2022 World Cup as a regular. Especially after the bitter Qatar experience, when he didn’t play badly but wasn’t efficient in any of the only three preliminary round matches. “At the World Cup, the balls didn’t go in. I’m happy that it went in now,” said Musiala, audibly relieved.

Nagelsmann was also happy. “Jamal did very well in all areas,” praised the national coach. He also recalled the World Cup, when Hansi Flick and not he was the national coach: “In Qatar, Jamal missed his chances. That gnawed at him.”

The dark past is history. And Musiala is ready for more. For more dribbling. For more goals. For more “Wusiala” days. “We want to do the same on Wednesday,” he announced, looking ahead to the second group match in Stuttgart against Hungary.

Source: Stern

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