Maximilian Mittelstädt actually took off when celebrating the goal. Like Major Tom in the national soccer team’s new hit jingle, which was played for the first time in his honor after his debut goal in the DFB jersey against the Netherlands in the Frankfurt Arena.

But nobody has to worry about the big newcomer’s grip on the ground in the successful European Championship test week. Julian Nagelsmann is sure of that. “Outstanding. The best thing is, he’s a completely normal guy, an incredibly nice guy, friendly, in a good mood, always,” said the national coach about the left full-back from VfB Stuttgart.

Nagelsmann had closely observed the 27-year-old after his famous debut in France at the weekend. “I found the reaction afterwards interesting. How does he get up for breakfast on Sunday? What is he like on Monday? What is he like at the game today? Does he do something different? Is it the feeling, now I’m a national player, now I’ll do a little bit less?” said the national coach. Mittelstädt passed the character analysis before and during the 2-1 win against their arch-rivals with flying colors. Despite his mistake in conceding an early goal.

Hymn of praise from Nagelsmann

“He makes a mistake and everyone concludes, yes, second game, now he’s a national player – and then he goes forward and hits the thing into the corner from 18 meters. And what’s more, he plays a very good game afterwards,” said Nagelsmann into a song of praise.

The national coach could also pat himself on the back. Mittelstadt? Nine months ago Hertha BSC was still sadly relegated from the Bundesliga, far away from international merit. Critics highlighted the story of Zoltan Sebescen, who was once completely overwhelmed as a debutant in an international match against Oranje.

But the risky plan worked. Mittelstädt delivered twice – and the chronic problems on the left defensive wing eased in time for the European Championships. “If he continues this drive in Stuttgart during the season, then he is absolutely a player for us for the European Championships,” said the national coach. In the coming weeks, Mittelstädt should just continue to “listen to Sebastian Hoeneß” in everyday club life, i.e. his local boss.

Groundedness in the countryside

And Mittelstädt? When asked about the European Championship prospects, he moved verbally as skillfully as before on the pitch. “I would be happy if I were there,” said the Berlin native. “Now it’s time to confirm my performance at VfB. The full focus is on VfB, we also have a big goal there,” he said. There shouldn’t be any problems with traction in the country when fighting for a Champions League place.

Ousmane Dembélé as an opponent against France, then the Holland offensive around Memphis Depay. And now on Sunday against Heidenheim. A voltage drop could become a problem. But Mittelstädt is reassuring. “It’s not that we underestimate them. We lost in the first leg against Heidenheim and want to make up for something. Everyone knows that Heidenheim is currently playing a good round and will make life difficult for us. We’re all in a good mood.” This definitely applies to him after his first few days with the national team.