Thomas Müller should not play an international match again this season. After his hoped-for return, Manuel Neuer has to fight for the position as number one in the German goal. Shortly before the national team squad was nominated for the first test games after the World Cup disaster, Hansi Flick (58) gave an insight into his personnel planning on the way to the 2024 European Championship. Prominent Bayern players also have to prove themselves to the national coach again when rebuilding towards the home tournament.
“Thomas Müller will not be involved in the next two measures. That has been discussed with him, I would like to give younger players a chance in the national team,” said Flick in an interview with “Kicker”. In March and June, Müller will therefore be missing from the squad. The Bayern veteran will return to the DFB circle shortly before his 34th birthday in September at the earliest, provided Flick then sees a need.
The agreement does not mean “that his DFB career is over and that he does not play a role in the European Championship. Why should I shut the door on a player like that forever?” said Flick in an interview with the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. This tournament perspective applies in the same way to veteran Ilkay Gündogan (32) from Manchester City.
Captain Neuer doesn’t get a free ticket either. Still pending a comeback after breaking his leg, the Bayern goalkeeper, who will be celebrating his 37th birthday at the end of the month, has to face the pressure of competition. “The focus is on performance. Nothing is set in stone – Manu knows that,” said Flick. However, the national coach assumes that Neuer will return. “I am convinced that he will reach his performance limit when he becomes one hundred percent fit again,” emphasized Flick.
Against Peru in Mainz on March 25 and three days later in Cologne against Belgium, Marc-André ter Stegen (30) from FC Barcelona was named by Flick as a new representative. Kevin Trapp (32) from Eintracht Frankfurt moves into the role of the challenger. Flick will name his squad for the two games on Friday.
In the Müller position on the offensive, Flick wants to give younger players more responsibility on the way to the European Championship. He explicitly named Kai Havertz (23) from Chelsea. “Kai is a brilliant footballer, very reflective and very mature in his personality. Our job is to help players like that take the next step and also take on responsibility in the national team,” said Flick.