First Leon Goretzka received the well-deserved hug from teammate Thomas Müller with a big grin. Then he listened embarrassedly to the exuberant hymn of praise from record national player Lothar Matthäus. With his outstanding performance against 1. FC Union Berlin, the national soccer player from FC Bayern Munich sent a promising European Championship application to national coach Julian Nagelsmann.

“My current attitude is that I try to always be on the pitch and show Julian that I’m there and accept the fight. I try to bring that to the pitch week after week in order to somehow jump on the bandwagon.” said Goretzka on Sky with a view to the season highlight from June 14th to July 14th in Germany.

As in the Champions League win against Arsenal, the 29-year-old was also convincing in the 5-1 win in Köpenick and pushed the coaching fuss surrounding Zinédine Zidane at least somewhat into the background. The fact that sports director Max Eberl had practically ended the speculation surrounding the French 1998 world champion immediately before kick-off was irrelevant to Goretzka. Full focus on the European Championships and Munich’s last remaining chance to win the premier class.

Tuchel praises Goretzka: “He is strong”

The EM train is still in the station. Conductor Nagelsmann must have already reserved a few seats, at least in his head. Others can still be booked before the wagons stop first at the training camp in Thuringia and Herzogenaurach and finally at the opening game in Munich on June 14th against Scotland. Will Goretzka get a ticket? “That is my clear goal,” explained the Munich native full of energy.

After a changeable season, Goretzka has broken through his form crisis. The veteran was not taken into account for the test matches with the DFB team in March. Since then, Goretzka has been able to significantly improve his performance. Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel, who was employed until the summer, said the midfielder had gotten back into shape. “He is strong and helped us win.”

Matthäus: Goretzka important player

In the effortless away win for the second-place team, Goretzka became the man of the evening. The six-man not only scored the important 1-0, he was also brimming with enthusiasm and played a decisive role in three more goals. Goretzka scurried all over the field and created space on the wings with numerous sprints into the depths. “He’s been playing outstandingly in the last few weeks,” praised record national player Matthäus and said: “Leon is always an important player for the team, not just at Bayern, but also for the national team.”

Goretzka is experiencing a season with ups and downs. He was often associated with a departure from FC Bayern. Most recently, the scouts of the Italian record champions Juventus Turin are said to have taken a close look at the midfielder, who still has a contract on the Isar until the summer of 2026. “A change is out of the question for me,” Goretzka said in the winter. He is currently providing those responsible with many arguments to continue planning with him.

No talks with Zidane?

What will be particularly important for Goretzka will be how the new coach plans for him. “It is certainly an important point for a player to know who will be the coach,” said Goretzka. There should be clarity soon.

“We are very final and will hopefully be able to announce something soon,” reported Eberl. According to the sports director, former world champion Zidane, who was recently discussed, is also not an issue. One criterion is that the new trainer speaks at least English. “I don’t know if he speaks English,” said Eberl, indicating that he had not spoken to the Frenchman.

After Nagelsmann’s rejection from Bayern and his contract extension with the DFB, the record champions are still looking for a new coach. “At some point you just noticed, okay, the sting from back then is still deep. The separation is still very recent,” Eberl reported on conversations with Nagelsmann. Meanwhile, Matthäus advises his former club to work more intensively with Ralf Rangnick – currently national coach in Austria – or Aston Villas coach Unai Emery.