Former Bayern defender Lahm talked about the situation between the German team and Nagelsmann in a Guardian column.
Lahm said that there are still nine months until the 2024 European Cup and Germany has to start again. Nagelsmann’s task is to maintain balance, stability and continuity in the team, to develop their style and image, and to develop their huge potential. Recent German teams have lacked all these characteristics. There is no shortage of time, as Walid Reglaj showed Morocco at the World Cup in Qatar that a good coach can get things done in a matter of months.
When Nashuai led Hoffenheim from the relegation zone to the Champions League, people already knew about his extraordinary talent. He was not yet 30 years old at the time. But he has yet to prove he can field a top team. At Leipzig he held his own, but the gap to Bayern, where he gained experience at the highest level, remained the same. This may help him in his current job.
Bayern is one of 10 clubs in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France that can afford to pay high wages. There, the best players and coaches earn double or triple what they did a decade ago. Whoever succeeds in these clubs will be one of the big winners in the future. Flick is said to have earned €6.5 million per year while in charge of the German team, while Nagelsmann, doing the same job, is said to be earning €4.8 million per year. That’s not good, it’s too much money. In clubs competing for the best players and coaches, you can’t change much about the financial aspects, but associations such as the German Football Association should not tolerate these exorbitant wages. More than 2 million euros per year is not necessary.
First of all, there are only about 10 to 15 international matches a year, at a top club the number is three to four times that. The national team coach is off the court for four to six weeks at a time between games. The DFB represents amateur clubs, the women’s Bundesliga, referees and nearly 7 million members. It organizes youth football and is modernizing its format. The DFB’s main goal is to encourage exercise, both young and old. It has a social and educational mission. It is therefore important to put forward-thinking men and women in key positions, such as two-time Women’s European Cup winner Celia Sasic, who was appointed DFB vice-president for equality and diversity last year. It’s an honor to play for the German Football Association and we need role models. As always, a look at history helps.
Sepp Herberger, who led West Germany to win the World Cup in 1954, accepted a teaching assignment from the German Football Association. Here are photos of him demonstrating his heading skills. At the same time, Helmut, who led West Germany to win the World Cup in 1974, held coaching courses and gave a speech at the association. Both have served as football trainers for the German Football Association for decades, and both won world championships with the German team.
On the other hand, Nagelsmann’s contract is for nine months and he may continue his club career after the European Cup. You can’t turn back time completely. But a little “back to basics” thinking certainly doesn’t hurt. This will also help bring football closer to the center of society. Players can contribute to this. The best players earn between 10 million and 20 million euros a year, some even more. For them, it doesn’t matter whether they can get the European Cup bonus of 100,000 euros. By giving up these bonuses, national team players will give back to the country that made their careers and fortunes possible in the first place.
It would also be easy for the German Football Association to make prize money equal between men and women, which would immediately send a strong signal to society, which is completely deserved given the success of the German women’s football team, including reaching the UEFA Euro 2022 final. This is something a national team, male or female, can do.
The Germans have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make their compatriots proud in the same way at home next year. The recent 2-1 win over France showed that fans are ready, and Dortmund is an ideal preview for the big celebrations. It is important that German football’s top players see the European Championship not as an arena for personal improvement but as a collective undertaking. If everyone puts “we” before “me”, then the national team can and will achieve great things again.