Berlin, Mar 16 (IANS): For a good reason, former German international Matthias Sammer is demanding improvements in German club football. The 55-year-old demanded more effort when it comes to robustness, speed and agility.
"We have been turning our heads to other countries but seem to have forgotten about values that made German football strong," the 1997 Champions League winner said after only one of four German clubs, 2020 treble winner Bayern, survived the last-16 round of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League campaign.
The former midfielder added that a strong physical game has been a trademark of German football over the decades, reports Xinhua.
While Bayern, on basis of an intensely physical game approach aside from their technical quality, outpaced Paris St Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig failed to deliver resilience facing international top sides such as Chelsea, Napoli and Manchester City.
Leipzig (8-1 in aggregate) against City and Frankfurt (5-0) against Napoli might have delivered extreme examples of quality difference while Dortmund (2-1 against the Blues) at least managed to keep things close.
Power and endurance training must return to the club's training schedules, the 1996 European champion Sammer demanded. Sammer demanded to return to values of the past "that made German football strong."
While all three Italian sides (AC Milan, Napoli, Inter Milan) and two of the four Premier League clubs (Chelsea, Manchester City) proceeded to the next round, German losses ended up at 75 per cent. The former midfielder added that German football must consider changes to improve the success rate and adopt a new winning mentality.
Since the competition had been changed to UEFA Champions League in 1992/93, only four German sides grabbed the trophy, with three wins by Bayern and one by Borussia Dortmund.