Only played 45 minutes, but scored and set a record: his home international match at the Weser Stadium was a roller coaster of emotions for Werder striker Niclas Füllkrug.
And then the whistles rang from the ranks of the Weser Stadium. The fans didn’t want to make their dissatisfaction with the still rather poor performance of the German national team on Monday evening in the Weser Stadium heard. Although they had reason enough to. After 45 minutes it was already 2-1 for Ukraine.
Rather, the fans wanted to loudly signal to national coach Hansi Flick what they thought of the fact that he had replaced “their” Niclas Füllkrug at halftime. “I didn’t even notice it,” said the Werder striker after the game, but he still seemed flattered. “But of course I noticed that the audience gave me a little bit of encouragement.”
Whistle for Flick – because of the filling jug
Things didn’t go according to plan against Ukraine: Niclas Füllkrug scored to make it 1-0.
Füllkrug only came out of the dressing room in flip-flops shortly after the whistle for Flick and took a seat on the bench for the second half. “I can’t take into account that he plays for Werder Bremen,” Flick said in his defense that he now sent Kai Havertz onto the field for Füllkrug. And Füllkrug could understand the step, although he still seemed disappointed.
“We just needed new dynamics in the system and that’s where it hit me. That happens and that’s okay,” said Füllkrug. And with that, the special home game night came to an abrupt end for him. The Bremen crowd favorite had to watch Havertz score and his team-mates just about turn the 1:3 into a 3:3. An overall moderate performance by the DFB-Elf, who also heard whistles for it. “Well,” said Füllkrug with a wink: “The Bremen crowd is also used to high-quality football. That’s why there were a few whistles.”
“It wasn’t a top performance from me”
But there was Füllkrug, just like his teammates, slouched across the lawn that was so familiar to him and thanked the 35,795 fans who somehow had hoped for a lot more. That’s not how this benefit game should go – because they didn’t really want to give the Ukrainian team any sporting gifts. “That wasn’t a top performance from me either,” said Füllkrug self-critically, “I could have solved one or two situations better.”
But his knee was just right in the 6th minute of the game to deflect Marius Wolf’s shot into the goal to make it 1-0. Füllkrug had scored, the seventh goal in the seventh international match. “I didn’t contribute much, but those are often the most beautiful strikers’ goals,” he said with a mischievous smile.
5th goal in 5th international match in a row
Top scorer with a top rate: Niclas Füllkrug scored in five international matches in a row.
“I’m happy about the goal and the quota I can keep with it,” adds Füllkrug. The 30-year-old was not aware that his knee hit also made him a record scorer. “Yeah? Cool, I didn’t know that.” Füllkrug is now the fifth German national player to score in the fifth consecutive international match.
This puts Füllkrug in an elite circle of national players who had also achieved this: Max Morlock, world champion from 1954, was the first to do it in the 1953/54 season (eight goals in total in this phase). Gerd Müller followed in 1969 (eight) and 1970 (ten), Klaus Fischer in 1981 (six), Andreas Möller in 1993 (five) – and now Füllkrug.
Does it work without a jug’s lucky charm?
Kisses for the little lucky charm: Niclas Füllkrug with daughter Emilia.
On Friday evening at 8:45 p.m. Werder’s top scorer could even trump the other national players. If Füllkrug scores against Poland in Warsaw, he would be the first German international to score in six games in a row.
But in Warsaw, Füllkrug didn’t have his personal lucky charm with him: daughter Emilia, who accompanied him back onto the field in Bremen. “It was very nice and meant a lot to me,” said Füllkrug. On Friday we have to score goals without Emilia.
More about the international match in Bremen:
This topic in the program:
Bremen Eins, Rundschau, June 13, 2023, 7 a.m