After qualifying ahead of schedule for the 2022 World Cup, Germany is again targeting big things. National coach Hansi Flick recalled on Monday evening after the 4-0 win in North Macedonia, not without pride, that the former world champion was the first team to book the ticket for Qatar. There, the Germans should do more than just play in just under 14 months.
“The quality of our players, if you look at where they play, you just have to say that they also have the quality to hold their own against Italy, Spain, France and Belgium. I’m very confident,” said Flick in Skopje . “We have to develop up to the World Cup,” said Joachim Löw’s successor, who started with five wins and a goal difference of 18: 1. “How far we are then, I don’t know. But I definitely know that a lot can be done with this mentality.”
Man of the evening was Timo Werner, who with two goals (70th, 73rd) gave an answer to the sometimes harsh criticism of him as a striker after the 2-1 against Romania. Kai Havertz (50th) had only scored the 1-0 for the favorite after the break. The Chelsea professional also confidently commented on the World Cup: “When you play for Germany, the goal is always to win titles.”
Youngster Jamal Musiala (83.) rounded off the victory with his first international goal and is now the second youngest goalscorer in the DFB jersey. Musiala met at the age of 18 years and 227 days. Only Marius Hiller was younger more than a century ago (in April 1910) at the age of 17 years and 241 days.
Germany’s final qualifying games in November against Liechtenstein and in Armenia can already be assigned to the preparations for the World Cup. DFB director Oliver Bierhoff called for a realistic classification of what had been achieved. “You don’t have to overestimate the result in the group,” he said in view of the internationally not first class opponents. In the 2: 1 against Romania, Germany had last plagued.
The World Cup groups will be drawn after the play-off next spring. As things stand at the moment, the four-time world champion will probably not be included in the pot of the eight best teams. FIFA should plan to use the world rankings again as an essential criterion. In addition to hosts Qatar, the top seven teams end up in the first pot. These are currently Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Italy, Argentina and Portugal. The final round will take place from November 21 to December 18, 2022.