Ahead of Spain showdown, Germany’s Julian Nagelsmann not holding grudges and won’t tip his hand (2024)

Former Bayern Munich boss and current German national team coach Julian Nagelsmann will not reveal the outcomes on his lineup decisions as the team prepares to face-off with Spain in the EURO 2024 quarterfinals.

“I already spoke to the players. There may be a few more individual discussions once the decisions have been made tomorrow. We had four video meetings for the Denmark game and also the Spain game. We are well prepared and confident that we will play a good game tomorrow,” Nagelsmann said at his press conference (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “Spain always tries to press high to force turnovers and win the ball high up the pitch. That’s a quality they have gained, it’s no longer just tiki-taka. There are many good approaches to defending a lot of possession. But we also want to have the ball ourselves — that’s always more pleasant and also the idea for tomorrow. We will not succeed in doing that over 90 minutes. There will be phases in which we want to attack and make life difficult for them.

“I will never say in the dressing room that this is revenge for a game in the Nations League. I wasn’t there, and neither were some of the players. So I don’t judge it and it has no relevance for tomorrow. If a few players want revenge, they should go ahead and do so. I wasn’t part of the last games against Spain. That’s why I can’t talk about it. I’m very relaxed about that.”

Of course, the conversation quickly shifted to one of Germany’s key positional battles — Leroy Sané vs. Florian Wirtz.

“I can answer the question - but I don’t want to. We still have a few question marks. You always try to write a script for how a game like this will go. What do we need from the start, what substitutions do we need? If you can choose between Leroy and Flo, that’s always good. There won’t be a bad decision,” said Nagelsmann.

One of the key attackers on the Spain side that Germany will have to focus on stopping is FC Barcelona youngster Lamine Yamal.

“He’s a very big talent. He’s been very consistent this year. There aren’t many who have been so consistent over the course of the year at Barcelona. Ilkay is the right person to talk to about how things are going at the club. He [Yamal] is only 16, which also means our players have a chance to hold their own against him. We’ll see how he reacts when things get tough. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean we want to knock him off his feet,” Nagelsmann remarked.

Earlier this week, Germany midfielder Toni Kroos said that the match would be won or lost in the midfield. Nagelsmann did not disagree with that assertion, but also knows that there are many facets of this game, which could play a role in determining things.

“Many games are decided in midfield. I think it’s good that Toni Kroos says that, it shows that he is taking responsibility. Our central midfield is very good, we don’t have to worry about that. Of course, Rodri is a key player for the Spanish team, but we also have an idea for him tomorrow. He won’t be able to play every ball without pressure,” Nagelsmann said.

One thing that the coach will not worry about is any perceived trash talk coming from the Spanish side — like Real Madrid’s Joselu saying Spain wants to send Kroos into retirement.

“I don’t think he was taunting him. I know Joselu a little bit, I coached him in Hoffenheim. Toni also put it into context. I also think there will be more games for Toni. In general, that doesn’t bother me much,” Nagelsmann said.

In the event that the match does get heated, Nagelsmann knows that his squad will have the support of the fans.

“We don’t get to see too much because we’re in the camp. But we see lots of videos. I think we also offered a lot in terms of emotion and we feel a lot of support. Our job is to give something back. Together we are always stronger,” said Nagelsmann.

Finally, Nagelsmann wa quizzed on whether or not penalty takers had already decided in the event of a shootout. The coach — like always — would not show his hand.

“We have a list in mind. Then it is important that the players are still on the pitch by then. It’s important that the player has the confidence to do it. We have many of them. So I have no doubt that we will find the right ones, should it come to that,” Nagelsmann said.

Looking for more thoughts and analysis on Germany’s big matchup with Spain in the EURO 2024 quarterfinals? Then check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Preview Show where we break down how excited fans should be, two key positional showdowns on the pitch, a guess at Julian Nagelsmann’s starting XI and a prediction on the game! You can get the Bavarian Podcast Works — Preview Show on Spotify or below:

Ahead of Spain showdown, Germany’s Julian Nagelsmann not holding grudges and won’t tip his hand (2024)

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