FIFA World Cup 2022: We must arrive with courage and belief in our quality to play against Spain
Germany coach Hansi Flick insisted on Saturday that his struggling side have the ability to defeat rampant Spain as they prepare to live or die. Globalism Cup clash.
Flick and Germany were left reeling after suffering a shock opening defeat by Japan in Group E, an upset that saw them stare into the first-round elimination round of a second consecutive World Cup.
Loss to the Spaniards will see Germany eliminated if Japan avoid defeat by Costa Rica in Sunday’s other Group E match.
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But Flick is confident Germany has the talent to reignite their World Cup campaign against a Spanish side who destroyed Costa Rica 7-0 in their first match.
“We have a team that has quality, that can do things (that we’re working on), and we’re very positive about that,” Flick said.
“We need to arrive with courage and faith in our quality for this match against Spain.”
Flick appeared at the press conference on Saturday alone – breaching FIFA regulations that require teams to make a player available to speak to reporters on the eve of each match.
Flick said he looked solo to avoid having one of his players make the three-hour round trip from a coastal base camp in Germany to Doha.
“We don’t want to expect any player to be driving here for a long time. A total of nearly three hours of sitting in the car,” Flick said.
“We have a very important game tomorrow. I said I would do it (the press conference) on my own because the players – from 1 to 26 – are all important.
“Now we are in a very important phase and they have to prepare and train.”
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Meanwhile, Flick dismissed suggestions that Germany might be distracted ahead of the Japan match by its decision to protest FIFA’s “One Love” armband ban before the match.
“I’m able to fade out all the background noise,” Flick said.
“For me, the focus has always been on football. I am completely convinced of what we are doing.”
Flick, who was named Germany coach after leading Bayern Munich to the sixth round in 2020 including a 1-0 Champions League final victory over Paris Saint-Germain, described the match as “our first World Cup final”.
Flick declined to speculate whether a second successive group exit might mean the four-time World Cup winners are no longer on the edge of world football.
“Sunday’s match will answer that (whether Germany is still a world footballing power). Perhaps we will have a different answer, a better answer, to that question.”
Leroy Sane, who missed the first match against Japan with a knee injury, trained again with the team on Saturday but Flick said he would need to check the former Manchester City winger’s fitness before the match.
Flick said, “With Leroy, we need to wait and see how he goes. After that we can say more. He’s happy he can train with us again.”
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