German football traveling a bumpy road back to top level

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Despite the ongoing summer holiday season, working days at the headquarters of the German Football Association in Frankfurt appear packed with important appointments.

Germany's players celebrate scoring during the League A Group 3 match against Italy in 2022 UEFA Nations League in Moenchengladbach, Germany on June 14, 2022. (Photo by Ulrich Hufnagel/Xinhua)

As Germany gears up to host the 2024 UEFA Euro, the struggling 2014 World Champion faces a pivotal moment that could determine the country's future participation at football's highest level.

Following disappointing campaigns at the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, desperate efforts are underway to reclaim success.

Despite securing 42-year-old Hannes Wolf as the suitable director, uncertainties loom over the recovery of talent development failures before the 2024 Euro.

The selection of the former Hamburg, Leverkusen, and Stuttgart coach aims to establish a team-oriented structure involving various figures, thereby addressing responsibilities that were centralized until Oliver Bierhoff's departure in December 2022.

Simultaneously, worries intensify over the outcomes of the international matches under national coach Hansi Flick until the close of 2023.

Following the September 9 match against Japan, a formidable encounter with powerhouse France awaits. Both matches are seen as the final opportunity to alleviate the negative atmosphere surrounding the German team.

For years, the association has struggled to establish an appropriate talent development system that caters to the demands of modern football.

The absence of internationally caliber fullbacks and proficient box-strikers, not to mention the challenge of building a competitive team capable of executing high-speed, dominant football, underscores the predicament.

While Wolf possesses expertise in structural matters and education, the journey back to triumph is undeniably evolving into a formidable challenge.

Flick faces criticism from various clubs for not adhering to logical performance principles.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, the League Association vice-president and CEO of Dortmund, has amplified the pressure on Flick, emphasizing the need for a triumphant 2024 tournament. "That is entirely his responsibility," asserted the official.

Flick's future appears intricately tied to a prosperous outcome.

In an interview, Watzke stressed the necessity for German football to nurture resilient, efficient, and assertive players, adding that it's not yet time to discuss the 2024 title but rather to ignite anticipation for the forthcoming tournament.

Appreciation among fans and television viewers has dwindled to a nadir since the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Flick has heightened expectations on his players, expressing his weariness with losing matches and demanding unwavering commitment. "This is what I anticipate. Players must transcend their limitations," emphasized the 58-year-old coach.

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