Ex-world champion Sami Khedira is very worried about the German national soccer team ten months before the European Championships at home, but still has hope for a successful tournament. “The EM is a character test,” said the 36-year-old former professional in an interview with “Kicker”.

In the next four games against Japan, France, the USA and Mexico, it’s about finding a team that has character and personality, emphasized the 2014 world champion. “And that develops the awareness of wanting to play for Germany and everything for it on the pitch. If we succeed, I’m convinced that we can rekindle euphoria in our own country.”

However, Khedira warned: “But if we think we have to bring the best individual players in the country onto the pitch, it can be difficult and it can end badly.” The former midfielder asked national coach Hansi Flick to nominate the best, regardless of age.

“The national team is not an experimental field”

“Four or five years ago we started with the philosophy of giving young players the opportunity to become a national team player too easily,” criticized Khedira. “Older players at a top level – like Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels or Thomas Müller – were disposed of because young players supposedly needed space to develop. That’s a fatal sign for me.” The best should be invited. “The national team is not an experimental field for testing young players. We have a U21 for that,” said the 77-time international.

The national team would be missing certain components, which would not be possible in ten months before the European Championships. “It will be several years before we get a corresponding number 9 again. And if I look at our full-backs and compare them to Philipp Lahm, then that’s just not the level that we had in Germany and also need to play games against to dominate other nations,” explained Khedira.

“Every cross has to be right, every header, every shot.”

The training is overprofessional. “Everything is structured homogeneously, so you only produce the same types of players,” he complained. The players have to be transported: “We want to win every game, every cross has to be right, every header, every shot. This is competitive sport, and the sooner I internalize it, the faster it becomes a habit.”

According to his own statement, Khedira has not yet spoken specifically with the DFB about a possible commitment as a sporting director. At the beginning of June it was reported that Khedira and coach Hannes Wolf should form the sporting management at DFB in the future as a kind of dual leadership.