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European Championship quarter-finals: “Wusiala” or “Wamal” – the battle of the young stars

European Championship quarter-finals: “Wusiala” or “Wamal” – the battle of the young stars
European Championship quarter-finals: “Wusiala” or “Wamal” – the battle of the young stars

Musiala and Wirtz versus Williams and Yamal – a young star duel is coming into focus ahead of the European Championship quarter-final between Germany and Spain. So young – and already so good. Which duo will be celebrating in Stuttgart?

“Wusiala” or “Wamal” – which duo will shine brighter and last longer at the European Championships? The European Championship quarter-final between Germany and Spain is also a great comparison of the young football stars. The DFB magicians Jamal Musiala (21) and Florian Wirtz (21) will compete on Friday (6 p.m./ARD and MagentaTV) in Stuttgart with Spain’s dream wing pair Nico Williams (21) and Lamine Yamal (16). Together, the quartet is just 79 years old. That’s just three more than the 38-year-old team seniors Manuel Neuer and Jesús Navas.

On the pitch, the paths of “Wusiala” and “Wamal” will rarely cross. And their offensive game is also different from one another. Williams and Yamal are real wingers, with a lot of speed, very tricky, unpredictable. Musiala and Wirtz are more like number 10s who dribble around and outdance their opponents with wit and outstanding technique. Their drive to finish is often even more pronounced. But in the end, they all have the same job, which Leverkusen’s Wirtz described as follows: “Above all, we are responsible for scoring goals and winning games.”

Matthäus delighted by Barça jewel Yamal

All four youngsters have had their moments of impact during the tournament, with Musiala standing out. And after his third goal of the tournament in the 2-0 win against Denmark, the Munich player’s words almost sounded like a threat to the competition. “I think I can play even better.” This is already the third tournament for the Bayern pro. At his first, the 2021 European Championship, Musiala was 18 and his teammates still called him “Bambi.”

But what Barcelona boy Yamal is doing in an adult tournament, even though he is still a child, is almost more astonishing. When the left-footer received a high ball in a single fluid movement in the group match against Albania and got past his opponent, Lothar Matthäus shouted delightedly on RTL: “Maradona! Messi! Yamal – or Musiala!” When asked about the comparison with the Barça icon Messi, Yamal said on the radio station Onda Cero: “I’ve only just started. I hope that I’ll have half his career.”

Kimmich: “Let’s see what happens”

Musiala, Wirtz, Williams, Yamal and even England’s Jude Bellingham – football has changed, the young players are always at the top at a younger age. “In football, age is no longer a big issue,” said David Raum, who as left full-back could have the pleasure of battling Yamal, who is ten years younger, in the quarter-finals. Adult versus child?

“The boy has been playing in the first team at FC Barcelona for some time now. And he has now established himself in the national team. That’s why we no longer need to talk about him as a child. The boy has brutal quality,” said the 26-year-old from Leipzig. And then Raum added boldly: “In the end, he can be beaten too.”

Yamal on the right, turbo attacker Williams on the left – the German defense is in for a real challenge, as Joshua Kimmich also noted: “They have two good guys on the wings. Let’s see what happens.” His direct opponent Williams impressed him not only with his impressive goal against Georgia in the round of 16: “You have to say that he is playing a very good tournament. He has played top games.”

Musiala and Wirtz versus Williams and Yamal – only one duo will move on from Stuttgart to the semi-finals in Munich and then possibly to the final in Berlin. When asked which duo was better, Leipzig’s Dani Olmo clearly supported his young Spanish teammates: “Williams and Yamal! They are really good!”

Jamal Musiala, born 21 February 2003 in Stuttgart, FC Bayern Munich, 33 international matches, 5 goals, 3 European Championship goals

After a trial period at the 2021 European Championship and the disappointment at the 2022 World Cup with too many missed opportunities, the Munich native is on his way to becoming a top European Championship star. He has always mastered the magic of dribbling. Now he is also a strong finisher. National coach Julian Nagelsmann had demanded a better “rate” from Musiala and got it. Only Gerd Müller and Dieter Müller scored more goals for Germany at a European Championship tournament in the 1970s.

Florian Wirtz, born 3 May 2003 in Pulheim-Brauweiler, Bayer Leverkusen, 22 international matches, 2 goals, 1 European Championship goal

The 21-year-old scored the first big hit of the European Championship with his goal in the opening match against Scotland. But the long and successful season in Leverkusen has also taken its toll. Double winner Wirtz has seemed tired recently. He was given a break from the starting eleven in the round of 16 against Denmark. When he came on, he tried a lot and seemed fresher. “He is an outstanding footballer. Everyone wants to see him,” said DFB sports director Rudi Völler.

Nico Williams, born 12 July 2002 in Pamplona, ​​Athletic Bilbao, 17 international matches, 3 goals, 1 European Championship goal

The left winger with the distinctive hairstyle – blond dyed tips in his braids – climbed up the stands after reaching the quarter-finals against Georgia to hug his big brother Iñaki. He also plays in Bilbao and is like a father figure to Nico. His parents fled from Ghana. Nicholas Williams, as he is actually called, is one of the most sought-after strikers in world football. The release clause is said to be 60 million euros. He played a spectacular game in the 1-0 win against Italy. Against Georgia he scored to make it 3-1 and danced with his friend Yamal after the final whistle.

Lamine Yamal, born 13 July 2007 in Esplugues de Llobregat, FC Barcelona, ​​11 international matches, 2 goals

One day before the final, the super talent turns 17. In Spain and at the European Championships, he broke all age records. When King Felipe VI was in the dressing room after the opening victory against Croatia, he stopped by Yamal and asked him how old he was. “Only 16?!” the monarch marveled. During the European Championships, the right winger from the famous football boarding school La Masia was still studying for his secondary school diploma.

Source: Stern

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