Football: “Big fan” Flick says Japan is offering a serious test for Germany

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Germany national coach Hansi Flick said on Tuesday that the Japanese squad has all the qualities needed to make it difficult for his team during the World Cup final in Qatar.

A day before the teams meet at Khalifa International Stadium in their first Group E match, Flick called himself a “big fan” of Japanese football before going on to compliment the Samurai’s tactical intelligence, skills and execution Blue players, especially those based in Germany.

“If you look at the quality in Germany, in the Bundesliga, (Daichi) Kamada is doing great, (Wataru) Endo has been one of the best midfielders in recent years,” said the 57-year-old Champions League-winning manager. said.

“I think, yes, we have quite a challenge ahead of us tomorrow and so we’ve tried to prepare as best we can and I’m looking forward to it.”

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Germany manager Hansi Flick attends a press conference in Doha on Nov. 22, 2022. (Getty/TBEN)

After speaking of the “shock” he felt following FIFA’s decision to ban his and other teams from wearing rainbow bracelets in protest at Qatar’s stance on LGBT issues, Flick said he now needs to focus on football .

“We’re here to play football and I hope the team will be able to execute what we’ve been practicing for against a team that is really good. I hope the team can have a good start, that’s what we first,” he said. said.

Earlier in the day, the German Football Association announced that star winger Leroy Sane would miss the game in Japan due to a “knee problem”, giving Flick a headache in the selection.

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While Flick did not reveal who could replace the Bayern Munich player who was a likely starter, Flick did say veteran goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Joshua Kimmich are “presumed” members of the first 11.

After speaking to his manager at the World Cup’s Main Media Center on Tuesday, Kimmich echoed Flick’s praise of Kamada and the other Japanese Bundesliga players.

“I think almost all of them are very agile, very fast and strong players. They have great technique, so we have to be careful, we have to watch ourselves,” said the 27-year-old who has become an important pillar in the German competition. defense over his 71 international matches.

When asked about Kamada, Kimmich was very complimentary.

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“He is a player who is very smart, has a lot of intelligence for the game and in the Bundesliga he has scored quite a few goals,” he said.

Despite both Kimmich and Flick clearly respecting the threat posed by Japan, the manager seems to believe that Die Mannschaft can determine their own destiny.

“We try to be as successful as possible and when you’re in a situation like that, if you have that pressure, it’s because you deserve it. That’s why we treat it with responsibility and in every match we really have to push ourselves, push our limits ,” Flick said.

“I think that’s something you can expect from the players, because they have tremendous qualities.”