Qatar 2022: Hansi Flick expects Germany to play against Luis Enrique’s Spain with a certain mindset


Hansi Flick claims that Germany’s group stage World Cup match against Spain is his side’s “first final” as they look to avoid an exit before the knockout rounds in the tournament.

After a surprising 2-1 defeat to Japan in their opening game, Germany cannot lose to Spain, or they would face elimination in Qatar.

“The last two tournaments were not [good],” Flick said to the press, referring to the team’s group stage elimination at the 2018 World Cup and the round of 16 knock out at the 2020 Euros.

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“We want to avoid a repeat of this. The focus is on concentration. This is the first final for us at the World Cup, and that’s what it’s about – to avoid a repeat of that.”

Spain impressed in their opener of the tournament, comfortably thrashing Costa Rica 7-0.

Manager Luis Enrique, however, is not getting ahead of himself and has said that the German team will be a tough test.

“Without a doubt, they are the team that is most similar to Spain in terms of dominating the play and controlling it.

“That is a beautiful challenge for us. I think it will be an open game.”

After the victory against Costa Rica, Enrique claimed that even he was surprised at the manner of the win.

“You always hope for the best when you’re about to make your debut, but maybe I didn’t expect such a version of us that was so, so strong.

“It was a pleasure, and you enjoy it so much when you see the team function like that. But I feel better managing problems [than success]; that’s how much of a d***head I am.”

“We have dealt with this [win] as normally as we can. It’s three points, no more. We have talked about that. And Germany have all the qualities needed for us not to be [over]confident. If we do that, they will roll over us. This is a very intelligent group of players who know that you need to be fully focused. It’s a nice challenge.

“You look at Germany’s shirt and you see four stars. I played against them at the 94 World Cup, and their physical power was bestial. There was a big difference at the time. Now in footballing terms, Spain is at as high a level as any team. In fact, in the Fifa ranking, I think we are above them.

“They are a team that always attacks, they want to be in the opposition’s half, they’re the national team that’s most like Spain. If anyone knows how to compete, it is Germany. If anyone can turn it around, it’s them. They have lots of players who are world-class, their history is there. They will want to control, dominate, have the ball, and that’s a lovely challenge for us because we have the same aims. But we have the conviction that we can beat them.”

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