Jogi Low’s final months as Germany boss certainly ended on a low note, but he still may have pulled off one of the best shots of his career.
The 2014 World Cup-winning coach bade farewell to Die Mannschaft last summer after 17 years in international training, 15 of them as head coach.
The end of his tenure came with a 2-0 loss to England at Wembley at Euro 2020, marking the end of a gradual descent, losing to a side that feared them.
However, despite losing to Gareth Southgate’s side, Low had already dealt England a blow in the build-up to the tournament, securing one of football’s new superstars.
Earlier this year, the former Stuttgart manager traveled to Munich amid rumors he wanted to invite Thomas Muller and Jerome Boateng back to the national team.
In fact, he was there instead dinner with Jamal Musialaand the plan worked.
The attacking midfielder had represented both England and Germany at youth team level and was set to make a decision to decide his footballing future after bursting onto the scene in the Bundesliga .
Similarly, born in Stuttgart, Musiala lived in Germany until the age of seven before moving to England where he moved from Southampton to Chelsea, who then made the terrible decision to let another young superstar tail him. between the fingers.
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The Blues’ loss was Bayern’s gain, with Musiala fast becoming one of the hottest talents in Europe, and Low was as excited as anyone.
“I think he somehow knows that I want to nominate him. The decision is up to him,” Low said.
At the time, Musiala had just gone from being a bench option to pushing into the Bayern line-up, now it is the first name on the team sheet.
This season, the 19-year-old has nine goals and four assists in the Bundesliga, the most of any player, while only Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, Neymar and Lionel Messi can exceed his 13 player goals in the top five leagues. Europeans.
And his strong rise continues, with Musiala not only the first name of Bayern, but also of Germany, as it’s hard to argue he’s not the most dangerous name in Bayern’s latest 26-man squad. Hansi Flick for the 2022 World Cup.
There are fears in Germany that Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry have peaked despite their buckets of talent, but for Musiala the sky is the limit.
Nicknamed “Bambi” as a young player for his lean physique and light running style, he continually uses it to his advantage, and no one can quite get near him.
“His development is just fantastic,” Flick said in September.
“He’s very strong in tight spaces, he can use his dribbling to solve situations for us where we have an advantage. I’m very happy he’s playing for Germany.
Bayern defender Alphonso Davis is also convinced, joining Musiala’s clash missing the Kopa Trophy against Barcelona’s Gavi.
“They may have denied you your Kopa trophy, but they won’t deny you your future Ballon d’Or,” the Canadian wrote on Instagram.
Not only is Musiala’s production on an upward curve that could suggest the highest individual honours, but so is his playing intelligence, drawing comparisons to teammate Muller.
The German striker has long been admired as one of the smartest strikers in the game, and Musiala is learning from the best.
“Something is already growing [between us]said Musiala. “His football IQ is really high.
“He understands things that I don’t even see sometimes. But I try to follow it and combine with it. But it could be even better than that. »
Muller is already convinced, knowing exactly what Musiala has to offer.
“I have time to watch the situations while he is in the fray against two or three men… We share well.”
“We try to combine a lot, we have a similar idea of playing football,” he said.
“Basically, we already have a good connection. Our interaction is good, we have a lot of situations together, good combinations.
“For me, it’s always a question of positioning. I know with his dribbling ability he can create action, he can get space.
“You like to give him the ball in certain situations because you know what he can do with it.
“Jamal has skills that are excellent. And he tries to use them profitably for us.
“It’s amazing to have those skills at that age. It’s completely understandable that the world loves to see him play football.
Manuel Neuer added: “Jamal is a key player for both teams. He had already shown a lot of good games and performances at the start of the season.
“Then he had physical problems. Now it is blooming again. It’s good for us.
“He is often responsible or involved in crucial situations. That’s why Jamal is one of the most important players we have.
But he’s not just one of Bayern’s best players, as BILD says: “Before it was Bambi. Now hardly anyone in the Bundesliga is as good as Jamal Musiala.
Germany v Japan is live on talkSPORT on Wednesday, kick off at 1pm, as we bring you full World Cup coverage
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