The start of a new era. Hansi Flick has been the new Germany head coach since 1st August and wants to lead the national team back to the top. In his first press conference at the new DFB Campus, Joachim Löw’s successor speaks about his objectives for the team and his philosophy. Also in attendance were DFB director of national teams and the academy Oliver Bierhoff, DFB first vice-president Peter Peters, Benedikt Höwedes, assistant coaches Marcus Sorg and Danny Röhl, along with goalkeeping coach Andreas Kronenberg and Mads Buttgereit, set-piece coach. DFB.de have summarised the most important moments.
...his return to the DFB: My life hasn’t always gone as I imagined it would. I am so proud and happy to sit here now as head coach of Germany, and am thankful for the trust that the DFB have placed in me. As there always have been in this organisation, I have many colleagues that I value both personally and professionally. So returning feels really good.
...high expectations of him: It’s perfectly normal for expectations to be high. Germany are used to success, and this is also a requirement of me and my team. I shared a part of Joachim Löw’s time in charge, who, putting aside the last three years, achieved outstanding success. Everything that happens now has nothing to do with the past. The work he has done is immense and I have to thank him a lot, also because he encouraged me. The way he brought along his team and trusted them is the way I want to be as well. I am totally a team player. I expect everyone’s mentality to be all-in. That everyone gives everything so that we come off the pitch as winners. This is the example my team and I want to set. It is important that we all show that we want to be out there representing Germany.
...his philosophy: Anyone who has followed both years at Bayern will know the kind of football my team and I like to encourage. We need to know that we are the best players in Germany and then I want to see that in action on the pitch. When you attack early as a unit, the way to the opposition goal is shorter. If you try to switch things quickly you have a higher chance of success. That’s what we want to see from our team. Of course we also want to develop young players and see what happens after. We will also discuss this with the clubs. The youth system is really important, as they are the future. The main thing is that the best German players play for Germany and it is down to us to make the best players even better.
...challenges: We only have six international breaks until the World Cup and so there is no time to waste. We have to have the players directly involved and also reach out to them between international games, so that we are always in contact.
...his biggest motivation: What motivates me the most is being able to work with the best players in Germany. As coaches and players, we want to achieve success. Success is the motivation to give everything. And as a team we will give everything to play inspiring and successful football. It is our duty to make this happen.
...the gap to the summit of the world rankings: Obviously our aim is to get back to the top of world football. It won’t be easy, but our team is in good shape and we have a huge amount of quality. It’s not something that can happen overnight, but we’ll give everything to reach this goal. We saw the intensity and passion in Spain and Italy’s matches and it was enthralling. They tried to put their opponents under pressure early on, win the ball high and use set pieces to make things happen in the game. We can learn from the best, and try to take these things into our own matches. Step by step, we have to try to get back to where we want to be.
...nurturing young talent: Working together with the youth teams is a collective task for the association and the clubs. At the end of the day, it is the clubs that coach these players, while we at the DFB can only support them. We want to be involved with this. The past has shown us that top talents can appear suddenly, and this will also be the case in the future – I’m sure of that.
...the future of Hummels, Müller, Boateng and Co.: The best players will be called up. If they perform as well as they have done in the past, as I’m assuming that they still can, then they are a part of this team.
...his own confidence: Of course it helps that I already know a lot of the players. The way a team plays its football depends on the philosophy of the coach. German football is admired abroad and has huge significance. It is important for me and my coaching staff to take the initiative. Success comes to those who make others successful, and that is something I want to stand for. Players should support each other in training and push each other, and this also goes for the coaching staff. The backroom staff should also give everything so that our players can play top quality football. For that to happen we must stand together. These are things that are very important to me. I believe that something really good can develop here. I am innately positive. When you have fun and enjoy reaching goals together, going on a journey together, showing quality and intensity in training and when everyone pulls their own weight, then we are looking at a good path ahead.
...contact with his predecessor Joachim Löw: We spoke on the phone at length, of course. We’ll see what the future holds. First, he will have a rest, he has definitely earned it, and then maybe we will contact each other again.
... Hansi Flick: I am extremely happy that we’ve been able to get Hansi on board – he was our ideal candidate. I know him from his time at the DFB as assistant head coach and sporting director, and I know how interested he is in supporting us in other areas. We have also brought together a high-class and well-qualified coaching staff very quickly, and I’m inspired by the energy and atmosphere of the group. A good start is important – we all want to be successful, and I know that Hansi is a man who can inspire. I wish him luck with his start, the rest will fall into place.
…Benedikt Höwedes: I am also happy that we’ve got Benedikt Höwedes on board going forwards. We want to bring our successful national team players back to the setup, so that we can reap the benefits of their experience. I know Benni as a player; he’s been a model player and a wonderful guy. He should be close to the national side and bring his knowledge in too. I can feel the spirit when I talk to him, and I’m sure we will start well in September.
... the process of finding a new coach: When it became clear we needed a new national coach, we sat down and made the decision not to pursue any manager who was under contract. Hansi’s contract at Bayern was still running, so we decided to look at other targets, but we’ve known Hansi for a long time, and we know that he’s very a meticulous man who can sometimes get into conflicts. We were happy that Hansi and Bayern came to an agreement to end his contract without our involvement and that we were then able to get our main target on board.
... the new start: The pitches at the new DFB-Campus are places that instill a spirit of optimism, and we know the entire national team needs this spirit, so we want to use that spirit to reach people. The national team is the most important team in Germany. In the past it has been an inspiration to the people, but recently we’ve lost that spark. I want to regain that trust, but also want to be cautious and realistic. The organisation needs to regain its honour, and because of this, the national team is very important to us. We’re hoping that we can get back to being successful, but we need to win back the fans of the Die Mannschaft and the DFB first.
... his role with the DFB: It’s a comeback on a different level, and it feels great to be back here – I celebrated my biggest footballing successes with the DFB. I’ll start of cautiously and take it all in, and I’ll look at the different roles within the management. I’m curious and I’m looking forward to the training. There’s also a lot that I can learn too – it’s very interesting.
... working with Hansi Flick: I have been here for eight years, and the first half of that time I was able to work with Hansi. It was very intense. We experienced a lot together; it was a pleasant time. We got on together in both a sporting and personal sense, so it’s great to be working with him once again.
... his discussions with the DFB: It was an extremely special moment to find out that I could be working for my country. We had super discussions beforehand which made my decision easier. I am excited to go forward with Hansi – we’ve built up a great relationship of trust. You can tell that things will happen here.
... his role at SC Freiburg and the DFB: It’s no secret that I’ve built up a great deal of trust over my last ten years in Freiburg – it was a very pleasurable job. I have to thank them for making it possible for me to also be a goalkeeping coach here. I have seen a lot of things here which I recognise from Freiburg, and I can imagine that it’s going to be great here. I can see that we have many good goalkeepers here, and my focus us is to make sure we continue doing the right things in for their development.
... his new job: It’s a huge honour for me to be working here. I have a German father and grandparents. I am really looking forward to getting down to work will give my all to repay the trust put in me. There’s room to improve at set pieces, if we work in a structured way and incorporate the players. I’m incredibly excited to work on these tasks. I’ve lived in Flensburg for many years now, and always dreamed of working in the Bundesliga, but when Hansi called me, I thought it was a joke at first!