Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka left the national team before the Nations League game against Hungary after corona infections. Julian Brandt also left with a flu infection. National coach Hans-Dieter Flick nominated Oliver Baumann and Maximilian Arnold.
Goalkeeper Baumann from 1899 Hoffenheim and Arnold from VfL Wolfsburg are now in the squad for the last two group games in the Nations League on Friday (September 23, 2022) against Hungary in Leipzig and three days later in London against England.
Neuer and Goretzka, who were still in the marquee with FC Bayern during the team’s traditional Oktoberfest visit on Munich’s Theresienwiese on Sunday, had to leave the DFB quarter in Gravenbruch near Frankfurt after positive corona tests. Brandt has a flu infection, said the DFB.
Daily tests should bring security
According to the DFB, the results of goalkeeper Neuer and midfielder Goretzka were positive in quick tests of all players, coaches and supervisors. There had been a corona case in a player’s private environment, whereupon the medical department of the DFB, led by Professor Tim Meyer, immediately became active.
Concerns about infections in the national team, which will travel by train from Frankfurt to the Leipzig venue on Thursday, will not end with the departure of Neuer and Goretzka. The contact persons of the Bayern duo in the team would continue to be “tested daily”, said the DFB. So the shaking continues. “After two years with the pandemic, the usual processes in our medical department are taking effect”, reported national team spokeswoman Franziska Wülle. Neuer and Goretzka are at least “symptom-free”, as the 30-year-old said.
Ter Stegen will probably become Neuer’s representative
Marc-André ter Stegen should now be in goal against Hungary on Friday (8.45 p.m.). Alternatives to FC Barcelona’s goalkeeper would be Frankfurt’s Kevin Trapp and Oliver Baumann, who has now been nominated.
It is not clear which leading player will lead the team against Hungary as a substitute captain for Neuer. Thomas Müller, Ilkay Gündogan and Kimmich are candidates. In any case, he will do it with the captain’s armband, which Neuer will also wear as a sign against discrimination at the World Cup in Qatar. This grace “a heart in bright colors that stand for diversity and the inscription ‘One Love'”, as the DFB announced. “That should be a sign from our side”, said Jonas Hofmann.
Training in two groups
On the second day of training, Flick had two groups practice. Standards, i.e. corners and free kicks, were the focus, as defender Kehrer reported after the secret session on the DFB campus. The absence of Neuer and Goretzka upsets Flick’s line-up plans against Hungary and England, but does not change the national coach’s goal “to win both games”.