Teamwork makes the dream work

Jamal Musiala is not simply Euro 2024’s greatest younger participant, he is the perfect total to this point


There’s a lot you may speak about with Jamal Musiala proper now, and the “proper now” half is related, as a result of that is the time to be doing the speaking.

Seeing a participant burst his option to stardom throughout a significant event is one in every of soccer’s most pleasant treats, and as Euro 2024 units a ferociously excessive commonplace by way of leisure, the Germany winger is exhibiting emphatically that that is his time to shine.

Finest participant of the event to this point? 

With each group to finish its second sport of the group stage on Saturday, who else?

Musiala’s two targets have been essential to Germany’s pair of snug wins in climbing to the highest of Group A, however the sparkle in his play, his dazzling ft and fearless runs, is what actually catches the eyes and lifts the soul.

Forward of Germany’s Sunday conflict with Switzerland in Frankfurt (3 p.m. ET on FOX) he is a subject of sizzling dialog. And, due to the character of worldwide soccer and the way cash follows tendencies, it additionally makes him a sizzling commodity.

English Premier League facet Liverpool, in line with a number of studies, is busy determining what sort of package deal of cash-plus-players could be wanted to pry him away from Bayern Munich.

The worth may need simply gone up.

Germany head coach Julian Nagelsmann likes speaking concerning the freedom in Musiala’s sport. And because the joint chief of the Golden Boot race with Slovakia‘s Ivan Schranz, Musiala is seemingly unaffected by strain or conformity, and is having the time of his life with the ball at his ft.

That hasn’t simply occurred by chance. Nagelsmann labored as a lot on his 21-year-old star’s psychological method within the buildup to the event as he did on the coaching floor, urging him to undertake an uninhibited mindset and refusing to overload him with tactical restrictions.

“I feel it’s important for him to not cope with the strain and simply cope with this functionality to resolve any offensive problems,” Nagelsmann advised reporters. “I’ve plenty of conferences with Jamal, once I was teaching at Bayern and in addition as his nationwide group coach.

“I all the time stated he ought to simply play like he’s on a small pitch wherever as a child and taking part in along with his buddies. He’s good at simply taking part in soccer, and he ought to simply take pleasure in taking part in soccer.”

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It’s tough for even Europe’s most interesting defenders to manage a participant whenever you merely do not know what he’s going to do subsequent. Musiala’s free function is not at all unprecedented, as giving a extremely expert younger performer the license to “quarterback” conditions and use their very own ingenuity is rising in popularity. Suppose how Actual Madrid makes use of Jude Bellingham.

However when mixed with the opposite abilities within the dwelling nation’s squad, fellow teen Florian Wirtz’s power and guile, plus the veteran expertise of Ilkay Gundogan and Toni Kroos, it’s much more efficient.

“For me, it’s unbelievable to play with Jamal as a result of he can do the sudden in each single state of affairs,” Barcelona midfielder Gundogan advised reporters. “Possibly he’s a very powerful participant for us for the time being, despite the fact that he’s so younger.

“I really like him. He’s such a whole participant and such a pleasant man as properly, very humble. If he retains doing his factor, what he’s doing proper now, he will be among the best.”

Ari Hingst joins the pod, Germany clinches knockout spherical

It’s straightforward to overlook this now, however Germany got here into the event with low expectations following a reasonably dismal lead-up 12 months in pleasant video games.

Nagelsmann was being doubted by the German public and the group simply did not appear to have sufficient star energy. Nobody is saying that now.

Musiala may have chosen to play for England, having spent a lot of his childhood there. His household left for Germany when he was 16, the choice believed to be related to uncertainty over how the UK’s Brexit rules would have an effect on these born abroad.

The German public is having fun with its fresh-faced group and the story behind them, and is already eyeing a dream run to the ultimate. There are notable similarities within the nationwide feeling created by this group and the 2006 World Cup squad, which additionally confounded pre-tournament critics by surging all the way in which to the semis at dwelling.

Ari Hingst on how the 2006 World Cup modified Germany

Philip Lahm, the event director of Euro 2024, was a key a part of the 2006 group, scoring the primary purpose of that event from his place at left-back.

He, too, has been entranced by Musiala and his impact on German spirits — and the event.

“Musiala is nearly unimaginable to get off the ball,” Lahm advised The Guardian. “He can beat an opponent from a standing begin. When the opposing groups have parked the bus and lined up their gamers in entrance of purpose, he is ready to discover options.”

The larger query is, as Germany powers onward, who can discover a answer for him?

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports activities. Observe him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the day by day e-newsletter.

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