Germany, the land of goalkeepers.
Tony Turek, Sepp Maier, Tony Schumacher, Bodo Elgner, Andreas Kopke, Oliver Kahn, Manuel Neuer – German football has always produced world-class goalkeepers. But time is coming to an end. The German Football Association is worried about the future. (News: All About EM)
Gianluigi Donrauma, the 22-year-old Italian national goalkeeper and successor to Gianluigi Buffon, has 215 appearances for AC Milan in Serie A. This means that the talented goalkeeper has played nearly twice as many high-profile professional matches as all German matches. The best young goalkeepers together. Alexander Noble (24/47 Bundesliga matches), Florian Muller (23/73), Finn Dahmen (23/3), Lennart Grill (22/4) and Marcus Schubert (22/9) made up just 136 matches in the Bundesliga. (Loew’s Bayern plan: Who should shudder?)
Koepke confirms there is a problem with goalkeepers in the German Federation
The German Federation suffers from a goalkeeping problem! Andreas Köpke knows this, too. The goalkeeper coach serves for the German national team Sports 1Alert on demand: “We already have one or two talents in goalkeeping. But I have a stomachache because the boys are not playing enough. We have to be careful!” At the moment they do not have “young goalkeepers who also play in the Bundesliga”. (press conference with Andreas Köpke)
It is true. A look among the participations of the top clubs in the German Bundesliga confirms this, as there are currently mostly foreign goalkeepers. Hungarian Peter Gulacci guard the gate at RB Leipzig, Finn Lukas Hradecky in Leverkusen, Belgium’s Koen Casteels in Wolfsburg and Switzerland’s Yann Sommer and Gregor Kobel in Gladbach and Dortmund, respectively.
Of course, this problem has not escaped the German Federation. For this reason, under the leadership of academy director Tobias Haupt, the former Bayern goalkeeper, they launched the “N28” project in the directorates.
This is how the German Federation wants to save the future of goalkeepers!
The main question addressed in the project: who will be in the German national goal in 2028?
In other words: the German Football Association is looking for the new player Manuel Neuer. The 34-year-old world goalkeeper made it clear recently that he wants to continue after the World Cup in the summer. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar and even the 2024 European Championship at home seem possible for the Bayern star. and then?
Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Bernd Leno will be 32 in 2024, and Kevin Trapp even 33. There is not much behind the alternative trio. Florian Muller, who recently awarded him FSV Mainz 05 to SC Freiburg, was the only German under-26 goalkeeper in the European Premier League last season.
The main problem: there are some young people with high potential. However, they would prefer to sit on the bench in the Bundesliga – see Nübel (on loan to FC Bayern) or Schubert (loan to Frankfurt, now Schalke again) – rather than play permanently in the second or third division.
“For example, I would like Alexander Noble to play more,” says Kopke. “Boys currently play very little and cannot develop as much as they would like.”
The German federation wants more intensive discussions with the players
Another fundamental problem: In the German youth football team, more selection is made rather than development. This is why the focus in the future should be more on training.
The German Football Association sees itself in an advisory role and wants to have more intense discussions with players, their agents and clubs. However, they cannot and do not want to influence the career planning of young players in the federation.
Koepke doesn’t think the goalkeeping job has lost its appeal. The 59-year-old believes the goalkeeping position has become more attractive overall, “because you can play more and be more involved in the game”.
However, the next new is not in sight. For this reason, the German federation wants to ensure that Germany remains a goalkeeper with the “N28” project.