Time to show worth, says Germany boss Flick as Spain crunch looms at World Cup

AP - Matthias Schrader

Facing the prospect of an early exit from the World Cup for the second consecutive tournament, Germany boss Hansi Flick asserted his players would show their worth against Spain on Sunday night.

The first round showdown was one of the ties that brought gasps of anticipation at the draw ceremony for the World Cup on 1 April.

At the time, it was expected the match would determine the winners of Group E.

But following their opening round defeat to Japan, the game could lead to Germany's demise.

When Germany was eliminated following the group stages in Russia in 2018, it was the first time that the national squad had failed to reach the second phase since 1938.

That catastrophe was followed by defeat in the last-16 at the European championships in 2021.

"If you look at the last two tournaments, we have not done very well," Flick conceded on the eve of the game.

"It is the first final for us and this is what football is all about."


Reflecting on the 2-1 loss to Japan, Flick added: "It was important to tell the players what they did not do well and we've made them understand.

"They can put this right. We are convinced about our philosophy and we will to implement what we believe in."

A second implosion at a tournament they have claimed four times would plunge German football into an abyss of angst.

"We will see a team perform who knows what is at stake and will do what they can to get into the next stage," Flick said.

Spain enter the game as pacesetters following their 7-0 annihilation of Costa Rica at the Al Thumama Stadium.

But despite the vibrant display, Spain boss Luis Enrique said his side would be wary.


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