Europe: European Championship
So much about the drastically different performance of the German national team at this summer’s Euro comes down to the different defensive staff the Nationelf faced in the two group matches.
The French RaphaÃ«l Varane and Presnel Kimpembe kept the danger zone locked. Portugal’s Nelson Semedo, obviously too anxious to help his central defenders, allowed Robin Gosens to operate freely on the left.
Joachim LÃ¶w’s side then face a third opponent anchored by a familiar face. Willi Orban, from Leipzig, originally from Kaiserslautern, is tasked with arresting the country with which he more closely identifies.
The leader of a three-man chain that also includes Attila Szalai and Endre Botka, will need to be as strong as an ox to stop the German attack.
In an interview with German magazine Sport Bild, the 28-year-old spoke of facing his home country in a crucial showdown on the big international stage.
|Willi Orban.||Photo: RB Leipzig|
Willi Orban had already been selected twice for the German U18s and twice for the U21s when he decided to accept a summons in 2018 for his father’s country. At the time, there was talk of his integration into the German national team. Ralf Rangnick, then at RB Leipzig, publicly supported him on several occasions for the Nationalmannschaft.
“I could have gone with the DFB team,” Orban mused in an interview published in the Sunday edition of the German Bild Zeitung, “When I was 25, I thought a lot about the direction my path would take. . and more. The coach at the time wanted to take me to the last Euros. I hesitated. Then I spoke with my family, especially my father in Hungary. Today, I am very happy with my decision .
Orban remains a true PfÃ¤lzer and speaks in a heavy Palatinate dialect. When asked about his skills in Hungarian, Orban admitted that they weren’t necessarily as functional as his German.
âAs a child, I spoke the language quite well because I visited my father regularly during the summer holidays,â he told his interlocutor, âIt has become less the case. Today I understand a lot, but i don’t speak it. very well. my teammates help us when i don’t understand something. it’s ok because i and the Bundesliga players speak german and [Italian head-coach Marco Rossi] makes his speeches in English. “
Alongside Orban, three other influential Bundesliga players stand in the way of the German national team and knockouts. Orban finds himself directly in front of his Leipzig teammate Peter Gulacsi in the goal. Additionally, Rossi contracted a 3-5-2 with FSV Mainz 05’s Adam Szalai and Roland Sallai as two forwards.
Asked by the German magazine if Orban would give advice to his head coach ahead of Wednesday’s final group stage game, Orban spoke of sharing his Bundesliga experience with Rossi.
“I will definitely tell him what the German players look like personally and what makes them tick on the pitch,” he replied, “it helps from a psychological point of view.”
Psychology will certainly play a role for Orban on the pitch too. He’s had an inappropriate tournament so far. After holding his own against Portugal in the opener, he withered late and found himself guilty on all three late goals. Against France, he didn’t really look at himself either.
One of the reasons for the below average performance may be that, in front of the full capacity crowd at Budapest’s Puskas Arena, Orban was not really playing at home. The center-back comes home for a monster game on Wednesday.
When asked if he thought he could have finally asserted himself in the German national team, Orban laughed before answering.
“I assert myself everywhere,” he said with a chuckle, “But, more seriously, I would answer with a ‘yes’.”
Queues are posted approximately one hour before kick-off
Portugal – Germany 2-4
|1||Manuel Neuer (C)|
|5||Hummels rugs â©62|
|21||Ä°lkay GÃ¼ndoÄan â©73|
|20||Robin gosens â½ â©62|
|7||Kai havertz â½ â©73|
|ten||Serge Gnabry â©87|
|19||Leroy SanÃ© âª87|
|3||Marcel Halstenberg âª62|
|15||Niklas SÃ¼le âª73|
|18||Leon Goretzka âª73|
|23||Emre can âª62|
Hungary – France 1-1
|15||LÃ¡szlÃ³ Kleinheisler â©84|
|13||Andras Schafer 75|
|5||Attila Fiola â½|
|9||Ãdam Szalai (C) â©26|
|23||Nemanja NikoliÄ âª26|
|ten||Tamas Cseri 75|
|14||GergÅ Lovrencsics âª84|