Six goals. No national player has scored more goals under the national coach than Timo Werner. However, ahead of the Qatar World Cup, there are doubts about the Chelsea striker, who celebrates the FA’s anniversary against Italy.
Timo Werner took care of adequate protection from the sun in the summer in Franconia. Before the anniversary match on Saturday in Bologna, in which the score exceeded 30 degrees, the striker had his skin protected. During his last training session in Herzogenaurach, he painted his face and arms several times.
Of course, Werner would like to look good as a footballer against the European champions Italy. It is his fiftieth international match. Lots, some fans will be surprised to find out. The Chelsea striker has been an integral part of the national team since his debut in Lukas Podolski’s farewell match in Dortmund against England (1-0) five years ago. But Werner’s qualities and value are still disputed. Now again – shortly before the start of the Nations League and a few months before the World Cup in Qatar.
The case of the attacker is constantly on the agenda
Since 2014 world champion Miroslav Klose, top scorer in the Bundesliga, retired, there has been a search for nine world-class players in Germany. The issue of the attacker is constantly on the agenda. “I wouldn’t consider that a problem yet,” said Leon Goretzka, a professional at Bayern Munich. The midfielder played for Werner: “I think Timo has played excellent matches since Hansi was with us. He scored in almost every game.”
Indeed: Since Hansi Flick became national coach, Werner has been playing and meeting regularly. In his seven matches under Flick, he scored six goals, and no one has scored more. Referring to Armenia, North Macedonia and Israel, Goretzka said: “Of course, you can say that the rivals were not always among the best in the world. However, you have to score goals in the games. Timo feels very comfortable here. With us, we can be the best performers and we can Score goals for us.”
Werner needs ‘that confidence from the outside’
22 goals in 49 international matches is a fitting quota for Werner. Flick is a godsend for him. The striker, who can look back on a mediocre season in England, admitted, “If the coach loves you and counts on you, it helps every player. Especially as a striker and maybe a double I need that confidence from the outside.” 11 goals in 37 official matches with Chelsea was too few.
The London club paid over €50 million for RB Leipzig for him in 2020. In his first year he was a Champions League winner with Chelsea. Against Italy, England and Hungary, Werner is now in the national jersey to maintain his position as a striker at Flick.
The national coach has greatly boosted the 26-year-old turbo player in preparation for endurance tests at the end of the season. “We have to involve Timo more in our game,” demands the national coach. He loves Werner’s pace and tracks in the middle of a storm.
Chelsea’s teammate Kai Havertz will be a substitute at the top, as will young strikers Karim Adeyemi and Lukas Nmica. But Werner will fight to put him in Flick. “I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs,” he said of his career. Werner is sensitive. He needs an environment in which he feels valued. His career has been a constant struggle against skeptics and for recognition.
Football is also his life. “If you lose the fun of the game, it’s over,” he once said in a Chelsea video. Goals have been his driving force from an early age. “My father always told me that you are a striker. He never said that you are a midfielder, you are a defender or a goalkeeper.” And now young Timo from his days in Stuttgart is playing his 50th international match against Italy – and he is very excited and certainly fun.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220603-99-536091 / 2