Italy an example to follow for Germany, says Neuer, as Flick starts

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By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- There never have been any doubts that Hansi Flick found the job of his dreams when signing on as Germany's new national team coach.

Enthusiasm is the word the 56-year-old is using most despite his successful two years at Bayern Munich, when he delivered seven titles within 24 months.

Flick begins his Germany career with three 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Liechtenstein, Armenia and Iceland.

Now, his mobile phone seems to have found more peace than in recent months when Spanish giants Barcelona were rumored to be trying to sign him. "I received more messages than after the Champions League victory after I signed as German coach," Flick admitted, noting that he would sometimes receive upwards of 600 messages per day.

The successor of 2014 World Cup-winning coach Joachim Low doesn't speak about the club offers he received after leaving the Bavarians.

Tabloid newpaper Bild insisted that Barca desperately wanted to sign Flick to lead the beleagured club into a better future.

The Barca offer is a thing of the past for Flick. "I am extremely proud to be in charge of my country's squad."

While Low seemed to have lost his players' trust and confidence, Flick faces a challenge to get everyone's feet behind the line, indicating that an improvement is needed in both the team's reputation and the players' determination.

Bayern striker Thomas Muller spoke of a euphoric mood around Flick's start after 15 years of Low, while goalkeeper Manuel Neuer mentioned Euro 2020 winners Italy as an example to follow. "They were a true team with a great spirit on the pitch. Everyone had fun watching them."

Neuer said he wants to repeat the 2014 World Cup triumph as "we will act with much more courage and communicate better. I guess we will see some of the successful football we played with Hansi Flick at Bayern."

Neuer spoke of a challenging restart and a step into the future of modern football, saying "we have to improve and make up for some rather disappointing years."

He called Flick a coach who considers the smallest details and gets to know the players' hearts and minds.

The Bayern keeper called a successful start essential. "We might face a bumpy road, but we are determined to get back to the top."

Flick, he stated, is the man for a new era of German football, as he stands for modern procedures and considers all sorts of training methods from other sports.

The former Bayern coach has increased the number of specialized personal among his staff, such as a set-piece coach in Denmark's Mads Buttgereit, and installing Andreas Kronenberg as a new goalkeeper coach.

Buttgereit not only talked about the new mood created by Flick but also about the German team's free-kick candidates to investigate "how golf professionals hit the ball in different situations. They are eager to get to new shores." Enditem

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