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Neuer: Italy must be Germany role model after Euros disappointment

Neuer: Italy must be Germany role model after Euros disappointment

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The former world champions hope to recover from their poor tournament showing this summer under new coach Hansi Flick

Manuel Neuer believes Germany must follow Italy’s example as they look to challenge for international trophies again.

Germany have disappointed in their last two appearances in major competitions, crashing out of the group stage at the 2018 World Cup and then being knocked out at the last 16 stage at Euro 2020 this year.

After coach Joachim Low’s departure this summer, Germany will begin a new era under new coach Hansi Flick this week when they resume their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.

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What has been said?

Germany captain Neuer believes his side should learn from Euro 2020 winners Italy when it comes to plotting a way forward.  

“Italy were a unit. You could see how active they were, how they communicated, with what joy they played,” he said at a press conference. “Italy is a good example to follow. We have to do the same thing as them.

“When I look at our team I know how much potential we have, even if we haven’t reached that level in the last few tournaments. We need to bring everything we need onto the pitch.”

What has changed for Germany?

Flick, who spent eight years as Low’s assistant coach at Germany, left Bayern Munich to take charge of the national team this summer.

He has called David Raum, Nico Schlotterbeck and Karim Adeyemi up to the senior side for the first time, while Marco Reus, Mahmoud Dahoud, Thilo Kehrer, Florian Wirtz and Ridle Baku have also been brought back into the squad after missing the European Championship.  

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“It’s a new start with new faces,” Neuer said. “We’re in a situation where we have to make up lost ground. We have high targets, especially in respect of the World Cup. We want to qualify first of all, and make a good start with the new coaching staff.

“We want to win three games and we’re all very motivated. We want to use this time to communicate with one another and get to know the new players. I want to become world champions with this team, even if it won’t be an easy process.

“I can imagine that Hansi Flick will want to play the style of football that he had so much success with at Bayern. I think it will be important to be active with and without the ball, and put our opponents under pressure from early on. That said, we’ll see more details in the next few days.”

What next for Germany?

Die Mannschaft have six points from their first three matches in World Cup qualifying, leaving them three behind the leaders of their group, Armenia.

Flick’s first game in charge will be away to Liechtenstein on Thursday before facing Armenia three days later. They will then round up the international period with an away game against Iceland.

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