A true powerhouse, arguably one of the most formidable teams seen so far.
A complete and deep squad without weaknesses, with a lethal combination of flair, strength, tactical sophistication, and determination.
Neuer and Kahn are vying for the starting position (with the notable omission of Sepp Maier), and the coach appears to favor Neuer (the active player) due to his extraordinary ability to build play from the back.
The defensive unit is highly intriguing: in several friendlies, Schon has experimented with Beckenbauer in midfield, as a box-to-box midfielder, a position where the Kaiser spent a significant portion of his career before being moved to the libero role.
Schnellinger and Kohler are competing for the other central defender position, while Brehme and Lahm have secured their places as full-backs, with the advantage of being adept on both flanks and possessing excellent technical skills.
The midfield department offers both quantity and quality: the key reference point is Matthäus , who will play as an attacking midfielder or trequartista, behind whom the coach has alternated Breitner and Overath as deep-lying playmakers, and Bonhof and Sammer as more defensively-oriented and substantial midfielders. This is all subject to seeing where Beckenbauer will play, but regardless, the midfield is of the highest caliber.
Rumors suggest that one of the coach’s initial choices was Bernd Schuster, who, however, reportedly had a furious argument with Lothar Matthäus a few weeks ago and self-excluded, leaving a vacant spot subsequently filled by Hansi Müller . Players like Ballack or Briegel provide height, substance, and the ability to cover various roles.
The notable omission is Günter Netzer, who is rumored to soon release a bombshell interview.
The starting striker will undoubtedly be Gerd Müller, and how could it be otherwise? Alongside him as a mobile second striker, there will be Rummenigge supported by a pure winger like Littbarski.
The Germans are also well-equipped in attack with players like Völler, Seeler, and Thomas Müller (another active player).
It is unfortunate not to see a great figure of German football like Fritz Walter, who suffered a serious meniscus injury during the pre-selection phase.
Interview with the Manager
Good morning, Coach!
Good morning to you.
My first question is: how did you feel when you officially received the appointment to coach the team?
A tremendous sense of pride. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Coaching the team that represents my nation is an extraordinary responsibility, and I am grateful for all the support.
Are you satisfied with the chosen squad? It seems you had to give up on Schuster.
Absolutely satisfied. It’s true, Schuster was one of the names I mentioned, but I had others as well, and due to numerical constraints, I had to let them go. These things happen when you have so many players!
Where will Beckenbauer play? In the various friendlies, you tried him in different positions.
Now that’s a good question (smiles). Franz is an extraordinary defender, but in my opinion, he’s an even stronger midfielder. I believe he will play in defense in the early matches, and we’ll see how it goes!
Are you concerned about Fritz Walter?
Very much so, I wanted him with me. Unfortunately, these things can happen, and I wish him a speedy recovery.
Regarding the Schuster matter, there seems to have been a scuffle between Matthaeus and Schuster during the pre-selection. Can you tell us what happened?
I wasn’t present, so I don’t know what happened. They are grown men, and what they do off the field is relatively important to me. The important thing is that they give their all during training and in the matches. I didn’t exclude Schuster; it was his own decision, and that saddens me a bit.
Mats Hummels expressed his disappointment at not being selected.
I understand his disappointment because it’s mine as well. Unfortunately, choices have to be made, and many of them are not easy. I couldn’t select everyone, even though I would have liked to (laughs).
Many of your colleagues have admitted to preparing personalized programs for certain players, especially those who played a long time ago. Did that happen to you as well?
No, it didn’t happen. Almost all the players are in excellent physical condition and ready to play even tomorrow, and I am really happy about that.
There has been much talk about the competition between Breitner and Overath. Who will be your starter?
I haven’t decided yet. They have different characteristics, and both can help us tremendously. I believe I will alternate them based on the opponents and what happens on the field.
Goalkeepers: *Neuer, Kahn
Defenders: Beckenbauer (c), Schnellinger, Brehme, Lahm, Kohler, Förster, Briegel, Vogts
Midfielders: Matthäus, Overath, Bonhof, Schweinsteiger, Sammer, Ballack, Breitner, Hoeneß, A. Möller
Forwards: G. Müller, Rummenigge, Littbarski, Völler, Seeler, *T. Müller
Manager: Helmut Schön
What a beautiful game the Germans play!
Despite accusations of playing stale football, they showcase an authoritative style that is also visually appealing, aesthetically pleasing, and never tamed.
Technique in service of power is the underlying concept behind Lattek’s philosophy of play.
They have many skillful players, starting from the defense, with fullbacks who are actually midfielders, and a captain – Beckenbauer – who would play as a number 10 in any team on the face of the earth. Here, he is the second brain, after Neuer.
The Germans have numerous passing options, they love to weave their way through the game with cleverness and patience, starting from the defense. They expand and contract the playing field like an accordion: frequently, Beckenbauer advances in tandem with one of the fullbacks, seeking intricate passing combinations, and then attempting long balls for the sprints of Kalle or Littbarski, or placing everything in the extraordinary feet of the excellent Overath.
The prodigious Bonhof is tasked with the dirty work: he moves all over the field, often dropping back in defense, and frequently attempting forward forays with his excellent technical sense.
When in possession, the defense occasionally transforms into a back three, with Beckenbauer dropping into the midfield line to create clear superiority in the center of the field and add footballing IQ to a department that certainly doesn’t lack it!
When this happens, Littbarski drops back to the midfield line to facilitate the advancement of one of the fullbacks (most often Brehme), while Rummenigge exploits diagonal runs and the excellent understanding he has developed with Müller over the years. There is great chemistry between the two, and where they fall short, the excellent Matthäus often steps in, often the star with his impressive goals and assists.
Overath, more static, prefers to remain calm and serene in the heart of the game, dictating the rhythm of play with incredible clarity and Euclidean geometries.
In the defensive phase, sometimes the team transforms into a pure 4-4-2, almost annoyingly reminiscent of Sacchi, with Littbarski on the left flank, Bonhof on the right, Matthaeus and Overath as central midfielders, Rummenigge as the second striker, and Gerd as the number 9.
The team is tough and fast, very difficult to face for anyone because they seemingly have no weak points.
They like to stretch the field, make their players move a lot, rarely make a passing mistake, and impose an incredibly lucid aggressive counter-pressing effort for extended periods of the game.
One of the probable starting lineups for Germany
Germany vs. Bor. Dortmund: 2-0 22′, 29′ Müller
Germany vs. Milan: 4-1 2′ Rummenigge, 40′ Tonali, 44′ Seeler, 65′, 77′ Matthäus
Germany vs. PSV: 3-0 25′ Brehme (pen.), 51′, 82′ Müller
Germany vs. Ajax: 2-0 10′ Völler, 45+2 Bonhof