Nine months before the 2024 European Football Championship, Germany, the host country, is preparing to begin a new cycle. German coach Hansi Flick was dismissed from his position the day after a humiliation in a friendly match against Japan (4-1), the German Federation announced in a press release on Sunday.
For the friendly match on Tuesday, September 12 (at 9 p.m.), in Dortmund (North Rhine-Westphalia), against France, it is the current sporting director Rudi Völler, the coach of the under-20 team. 20-year-old Hannes Wolf and young coach Sandro Wagner who will act as interim coach before the Federation chooses Flick's successor for the Euro (June 14-July 14).
After success at Bayern Munich (two German championship titles in 2020 and 2021, a Champions League in 2020), Hansi Flick took over from Joachim Löw at the head of the Nationalmannschaft in 2021, following the last euro. Under his leadership, Germany failed to make it through the first round of the last World Cup in Qatar, notably beaten by… Japan.
Nagelsmann among potential successors
After the early elimination at the 2022 World Cup, the German Federation decided to keep him in his position, while appointing Rudi Völler as sports director to mentor him.
The sequence of friendly matches in March and June was calamitous, with only one victory against modest Peru (2-0), a draw snatched at the last minute against Ukraine (3-3) and defeats against Belgium (3-2), Poland (1-0) and Colombia (2-0).
But even after the defeat against Japan (4-1) on Saturday evening in Wolfsburg (Lower Saxony), Flick claimed to be the man for the job. Völler, however, dodged the question of whether Flick would remain, postponing a night of reflection to take stock.
"Hansi raus!" ("Hansi out!") had begun to be heard in the stands of the stadium in Wolfsburg on Saturday evening, after the fourth Japanese goal, which therefore came to complete ten months of a descent into hell for the Nationalmannschaft.
Among the names of potential successors to Flick circulating in the media are Julian Nagelsmann, the former Bayern coach dismissed at the end of March, the Austrian Oliver Glasner, winner of the Europa League with Frankfurt in 2022, and Stefan Kuntz, double champion from Europe in the past with German hopefuls (2017 and 2021).