The crisis of the German national team has also reached the youth. So far, the U21s have given a very poor picture at the European Championships in Georgia. The 1-1 draw against Israel was followed by a 2-1 defeat against the Czech Republic. Coach Antonio di Salvo’s team has only a minimal chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

In the final group game against England (6 p.m., live on Sat.1), Germany needs a win against the strong English side. At the same time, the selection of the German Football Association (DFB) must hope for Israel to win in the parallel game against the Czech Republic. Only if Germany retains the better goal difference compared to Israel in this constellation will the team still make it into the quarter-finals. “We will do everything we can to win the game. That’s all that’s in our hands,” said di Salvo. In view of the performance shown, that sounded more like a slogan to persevere, especially since the coach will probably have to do without striker Youssoufa Moukoko against England.

The first exit of a German U21 in the European Championship group phase since 2013 would also prematurely end the players’ dream of participating in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. This development comes as no surprise to many. The German youth national teams have played too weakly in recent years. Jochen Sauer, head of the youth academy at FC Bayern Munich, holds the DFB primarily responsible.

“The DFB sometimes fails to promote our players a little earlier,” said Sauer to the picture and demands that there must be financial incentives for the clubs in the Bundesliga so that they can increasingly rely on local talent.

“In Austria, for example, clubs get significantly more TV money if they use young, local players. There is a similar mechanism in the DFL and in the 3rd league, but it would certainly be a suitable measure to give the corresponding ‘money pots for promoting young talent’ more weight, so that there is a greater incentive to attract more young players to the 3rd league up to the Bundesliga.”