Florian Wirtz against Jamal Musiala: Hansi Flick does not want to miss the live experience of the direct duel of his great hopes for the home European Championship. Even before the journey to Frankfurt, the Bundesliga match of FC Bayern Munich in Leverkusen is a must for the national coach in the afternoon together with the new sporting director Rudi Völler.

In the future, the national football team should primarily say: Wirtz and Musiala! A “murmur” goes through the stadium when both are on the ball, Flick reported of his conviction that the young stars – Wirtz is 19, Musiala 20 – can become the faces of the new beginning after the failed Qatar World Cup. The fact that Wirtz is back after his cruciate ligament rupture is “very lucky”. In fact, both could be in the DFB starting eleven together for the first time at the start of the year against Peru in Mainz next Friday.

Start with five newcomers

When Flick starts preparing for the 2024 home tournament on Monday with a public training session (4:30 p.m.) as a signal of the change in mood in the Brentanobad stadium in Frankfurt, the fans can also see for themselves at close range: A new spirit is to emerge after the years of disappointments. Five newcomers – Mergim Berisha (24), Kevin Schade (21), Marius Wolf (27), Josha Vagnoman (22) and Felix Nmecha (22) – then get a first impression of life as a national player.

Marc-André ter Stegen is already 30. But the goalkeeper from FC Barcelona is also becoming the face of the new beginning in a certain way. And the deputy of the injured Manuel Neuer comes with the claim to finally complete the change of guard. “With me as number one, yes, of course. For me, the claim is to be number one,” said ter Stegen before his evening appearance in the Clásico against Real Madrid on the TV station Bild.

Ter Stegen was already in this role six years ago. And his Confed Cup memories sound like an assignment. In 2017, Germany won the last title with a B selection and Ter Stegen in goal. “It was a cool bunch, I would say. We just had fun doing it and we understood, we have to suffer, we will suffer for sure. We won a trophy that was really for the team. In the next ones months we can come together to form this team,” said ter Stegen.

Important players are missing

At the World Cup rehearsal in Russia, the national coach at the time, Joachim Löw, deliberately left out important pillars. As is now Flick with Thomas Müller, Ilkay Gündogan, Antonio Rüdiger, Niklas Süle and several other greats such as Leroy Sané. After the World Cup, the top dogs first have to watch when others are allowed to play for their chance at the European Championship.

“We want to see them confident. We want a squad that is broader,” said Flick about his personnel policy, which was surprising in terms of intensity even for experts such as record national player Lothar Matthäus. “There are now important players missing and others are coming that you don’t really know, who don’t yet have the regular place in the club that you should actually have in order to be nominated for the national team,” said Matthäus on Sky: “I still think the national team has to be something special.”

The mood change is also limited to the squad alone. There are some details that change around the national team. Training in front of fans on Monday is one of the pieces in the jigsaw – as is the new team hotel. The DFB entourage resides in the middle of Frankfurt, this time. Flick looks out the window at the skyline, train station and exhibition center – and not at the tranquil Neu-Isenburg suburban green, as was the case recently with appointments in Frankfurt. The maximum snuggling far away from real life, as at the World Cup with the exclusive desert quarters far away from the tournament high life in Doha, seems to be a thing of the past.