Who’s on the Plane? Germany Euro 2020 Squad Power Rankings – February

?We’re another month close to having a football-filled summer, with Euro 2020 set to kick off in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on June 12.

A lot of eyes will be on Joachim Löw’s Germany side after they crashed and burned in their defence of the World Cup in 2018, but Die Mannschaft will have a very different look about them this time around.

Germany’s manager has already kicked out Mats Hummels, Jérôme Boateng and Thomas Müller from the national team, so there will be plenty of new faces for international audiences to see at Euro 2020.

Löw doesn’t have to pick his final 23-man squad just yet, but here’s who a look at would make 90min’s Germany team based off their form in February.


23. Kevin Trapp (New Entry)

Picking a final 23-man squad is a cutthroat business so as far as Germany’s third-choice goalkeeper is concerned, we’ve had to leave Bernd Leno and Alexander Nübel behind.

Trapp’s had his problems with injuries but he’s helped to turn a pretty dismal season for Eintracht Frankfurt on its head and they’re back on their way up the table.

22. Florian Neuhaus (New Entry)

Florian Neuhaus

A senior national team call-up has been well overdue for Florian Neuhaus but with all the competition that’s going to be on offer, he might be the best player who goes to Euro 2020 without actually playing any football.

Maybe next time.

21. Robin Gosens (New Entry)

‘But why’s Gosens going ahead of Nico Schulz?’

Watch Borussia Dortmund. That’s why.

20. Leroy Sané (-)

Even without any ligaments left in his knee, Sané’s still going to be one of Germany’s most important player this summer.

Leroy Sane

It’s also going to be a great chance for him to put himself on the transfer market as he looks to leave Manchester City, even though we know where he’ll be going already – don’t we, Herbert Hainer…

19. Robin Koch (-)

Even Jogi Löw knows the comedic gold that will come with Clive Tyldesley shouting ‘Koch block’ on terrestrial television so he’s going to be on the plane for sure.

18. Jonathan Tah (Down 2)

Tah’s been a Germany international for quite some time but has only picked up nine appearances for the national team, although without Hummels and Boateng he’ll be starting most games at Euro 2020.

Jonathan Tah ,

17. Marco Reus (Down 8)

Please don’t get injured. 

Please don’t get injured. 

Please don’t get injured.

16. Marcel Halstenberg (Up 1)

He’ll be Germany’s first-choice left back at Euro 2020, even though he’s played as a centre-back at RB Leipzig over the last couple of weeks.

 

15. Suat Serdar (-)

Serdar’s been a big loss for Schalke over the last couple of weeks following an ankle injury.

But he’s still been one of the most impressive midfielders in the Bundesliga this season.

 

14. Antonio Rüdiger (-)

Antonio Rüdiger

There’s every chance that Rüdiger will be Germany’s most senior centre-back at Euro 2020 as on top of Hummels and Boateng being ommited, Niklas Süle might not recover from a long-term injury he picked up in October.

13. Emre Can (Up 5)

Can swapped Juventus for Borussia Dortmund to get himself back in contention for a place in the national team.

It should work too. Jogi Löw doesn’t have too many defensive midfielders with Can’s stature, let alone anyone who can pick out the top corner of the opposition’s net from 40 yards.

12. Leon Goretzka (Up 1)

At the worst of times, Goretzka’s always been quite a useful player to have in and around the national team, but he’s been involved in five goals in the Rückrunde alone 

11. Julian Brandt (Up 1)

It’s not all gone Brandt’s way sine joining Borussia Dortmund but he’ll have a big part to play for Germany at Euro 2020.

If nothing else, it’s still just a chance for fans to see Brandt re-kindle his relationship with Kai Havertz with Die Mannschaft.

Kai Havertz,Julian Brandt

 10. Marc-André ter Stegen (Up 1)

Ter Stegen would be starting for all-but-one national side who will be at Euro 2020.

Unfortunately for him, the one that he won’t be starting for is Germany.

9. Lukas Klostermann (Down 1)

Germany have the best right back in world football playing for them.

The only problem is the best right back in world football will be playing as a defensive midfielder at Euro 2020, but Lukas Klostermann will be a welcomed addition to Jogi Löw’s starting lineup.

8. Kai Havertz (Up 2)


Form is temporary, class is permanent…we hope.

Havertz hasn’t been at his devastating best for Bayer Leverkusen this season but, at this stage, he’s unlikely to be left out of a national team squad until he retires from international duty.

7. ?lkay Gündo?an (-)

Well, this is going to be Gündo?an’s last taste of European football for quite a while isn’t it…?

6. Matthias Ginter (Down 1)

Borussia Mönchengladbach have the joint best defensive record in the Bundesliga this season and a lot of that comes down to Ginter.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-MOENCHENGLADBACH-MAINZ

He didn’t even make their squad back in 2016 and Ginter was only ever on the bench when Germany won the World Cup in 2014, but he should be one of the first names on the teamsheet this summer.

5. Timo Werner (Down 1)

At this point, no one would be surprised if Jogi Löw decided to call up a 107-year-old Mario Gómez, but it should be a fairly safe bet that Werner will be leading the line for Germany.

He’s the highest-scoring Germany player across all competitions and even though he’s slowed down a fair bit since the turn of the year, he’s still been involved in 35 goals in 31 appearances this season.

4. Serge Gnabry (Up 2)

Well, Löw’s hardly going to send Karim Bellarabi to Euro 2020 is he?


Germany need to wrap Gnabry in cotton wool and bubble wrap to make sure he’s at full strength this summer.

3. Joshua Kimmich (-)

Germany’s manager has been pushing to use Kimmich in midfield for a number of years and with Klostermann finally ready to step up as a right back, he’ll get the chance to play centrally at a major tournament.

He’s had plenty of experience in midfield at Bayern Munich this season too.

2. Toni Kroos (-)

Going into Euro 2020, Kroos will be the highest scoring Germany international.

Yep, with 17 goals for Die Mannschaft, Kroos has scored more times for his country than any other active German player.

Toni Kroos

Lukas Podolski, Mesut Özil and André Schürrle have all scored more goals, but it’s safe to say neither of them will be breaking into the national team over the next few months.

1. Manuel Neuer (-)

Jogi Löw has the choice between starting a goalkeeper who is currently being out-performed by Thibaut Courtois, or someone who’s won the last seven domestic league titles.

He’s going to be picking the latter.


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Who Is Reinier? All You Need to Know About Real Madrid’s Exciting New Signing

?Real Madrid have never been afraid of spending big in the transfer window, and Los Blancos have dipped into their pockets once again, this time forking out €35m for a fairly unknown youngster – Reinier.

The deal was confirmed in January and is worth a fair amount given the player’s age, with the midfielder set to be presented to the Real Madrid faithful on Tuesday.


The new boy in Madrid will certainly face stiff competition to break in to a squad made up of world-beaters, but the 18-year-old has plenty of potential and has been tipped by those in Brazil to embrace the big time.

But who really is this talented teenage sensation? Let’s take a look…


Who Is He?

Reinier Jesus Carvalho is an exciting 18-year-old midfielder who was born on 19 January 2002 – feel old yet? 

He is the son of former futsal player Mauro Brasilia – perhaps why he is so technically-gifted at such a young age – and has been on the books at some of Brazil’s biggest clubs since 2011.

FBL-BRAZIL-FLAMENGO-VASCO

?Stood at a little over six feet tall, Reinier initially joined Vasco da Gama’s academy nine years ago, before moving on to Botafogo and Fluminense, and eventually winding up at Flamengo. 

The youngster went on to make his debut for Flamengo in July last year, and his rise to stardom has been one of incredible speed. The youngster has also featured for Brazil’s youth teams, racking up 16 appearances for the Under-17s and U23s.


What Kind of Experience Does He Have?


?Put simply: very little.

As mentioned, Reinier only made his senior debut for Flamengo less than seven months ago, and subsequently made just 15 appearances for the Brazilian side. However, in that time he has scored six goals and registered two assists, as well as forging a reputation as one of the most talented youngsters in world football.

Reinier has already won the Copa Libertadores as well as the Brazilian first division title, but missed out on adding the FIFA Club World Cup to his trophy cabinet following Flamengo’s narrow defeat to ?Liverpool in the final.


What Kind of Player Is He?

Well, we don’t get liked to get carried away in football, so a lot of fans and critics have compared him to Kaka.

Yes, really. 

Gerson,Reinier

Obviously, Reinier is a very, very long way away from being even half the player that the former ?Real Madrid and ?Milan star was, but he has the technical and physical ability to match Kaka’s style. 

Reinier is big and powerful, but has a delicate grace as well as an incisiveness to his dribbling. His right foot possesses plenty of skill and trickery, with his eye for flair one of his most exciting attributes.


What Are His Chances Like of Actually Playing for Madrid?

Given Madrid have splashed a lot of money on him and tied him down to a six-year contract, you would assume he has a good chance of making the cut. 

While his path to the first team may not be completely free from obstacles, Reinier certainly has a glowing reputation in world football and, in an era where potential means everything, Zinedine Zidane will be keen to thrust him in to the limelight.?

Reinier Jesus

?However, we mustn’t throw caution to the wind. We have been here before.

Not so long ago, Vinicius Junior was the ‘next Neymar’, arriving at the Bernabeu from Flamengo with sky high expectations he was unlikely ever to fulfil in the short-term – he’s been ‘good’, but not quite ‘Neymar good’.

Patience is a virtue but, possibly even after a couple of loan spells (take inspiration from Martin Odegaard, Madrid), Reinier has all the attributes to succeed at the Spanish giants.


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Iker Casillas Confirms Run for Spanish Football Federation Presidency

?Spain icon Iker Casillas has confirmed that he intends to run for presidency at the Spanish football association’s (RFEF) next election.

The 38-year-old goalkeeper is yet to officially retire from competitive action and remains on the books at Porto. However, he has not played since April 2019 after suffering a heart attack during training.


Since the incident, Casillas has worked as part of Porto’s backroom staff to prepare him for life after football, while there has been speculation for some time that he would seek to run for the RFEF presidency.

On Monday, the ex-Real Madrid stopper took to ?Twitter to confirm his candidacy.

“Yes, I will stand for presidency of the Spanish FA when elections are called,” he wrote. “Together we will put our federation at the level of the best football in the world.

I have informed the president of my Club, FC Porto, of this decision, to whom I can only express my deepest gratitude.

Iker Casillas

“We are working with the utmost respect in our candidacy. More than 23,000 voters await us in fair and transparent elections. 139 assembly members will decide.”

While he did not officially confirm his retirement, it certainly appears as though Casillas has informed Porto that he does not intend to return to football again, and he may have played his last match.

Casillas will now run against current RFEF president Luis Rubiales in the elections, but no date has been set just yet. Rubiales is eager to bring the elections forward to avoid clashing with the Olympic games in Tokyo, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Luis Rubiales

Rubiales has been in the position since May 2018, and he wasted little time making his mark as one of his first actions was to relieve Julen Lopetegui of his duties as Spain manager just days before the 2018 World Cup after it emerged he had been negotiating with ?Real Madrid.

Casillas would certainly be a popular appointment. The former Real star made 167 appearances for the Spanish national team during his career, winning the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships in both 2008 and 2012.


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Zinedine Zidane Questions Recent Problems With Real Madrid’s Defence

?Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has admitted he is unsure why his side have struggled defensively in recent weeks, but insisted that left-back Marcelo is not the problem.

His side were held to a disappointing 2-2 draw by Celta Vigo on Sunday, meaning they have now conceded seven goals in their last three games. Having begun the season with such a resilient defence, their recent form has come as quite a surprise.


Speaking after the game (via ?AS), Zidane admitted that he does not know why his side are struggling on that side of the ball recently, although he was quick to point out that Celta’s second goal only came about because of a sublime assist from Denis Suárez.

“It’s football, there is no explanation,” he said. “We have conceded two goals, sometimes there are mistakes and when we see the second goal, the pass is extraordinary. There is no more explanation.

“I don’t think [the team are struggling physically]. The season is also very long and we know that more complicated matches will come.

Zinedine Zidane

“Physically we are not bad, although we can improve even more. Our first five minutes were good, but they scored a goal and it cost us. We can improve in many aspects, not only physically. We will play against teams that are much better.”

Zidane was quick to avoid throwing ?Marcelo under the bus. The Brazilian replaced the impressive Ferland Mendy in the ?Real lineup but endured a challenging game at left-back, although his manager seemingly did not see it that way.

Marcelo Vieira

“I don’t think he makes us weaker defensively, because he was good at the back, but you always bring out stats,” Zidane responded. “I’m happy with everyone for how they play and when they play.

“It hurts to lose two points at home; Celta are a good team who don’t deserve to be at the bottom. But it hurts a lot to lose two points after the tremendous effort that we made. Sometimes we can argue about if it’s our fault, but Denis’ pass is fantastic.”


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Real Madrid 2-2 Celta Vigo: Report, Ratings and Reaction as Los Blancos Stumble in Title Race

Real Madrid’s lead at the top of La Liga slipped to just one point on Sunday night, as a late strike from Santi Mina cancelled out a Sergio Ramos penalty to secure an unlikely point for a struggling Celta Vigo side. 

?The home side looked unsure of themselves and off the pace from the get go, and though they dominated play, they were punished for a poor start when Iago Aspas picked out Fyodor Smolov, who kept his composure to get the better of ?Thibaut Courtois. 

Smolov

Toni Kroos would get ?Real level with a swept low finish after the break, but that came only after a stunning Courtois stop denied Joseph Adoo and ?Ramos had seen a goal chalked off for offside, in what was fast transforming into an eventful encounter. 

A Ramos penalty then gave the hosts a somewhat fortuitous lead after Ruben Blanco had clumsily taken out Eden Hazard on the edge of his six-yard box, but Real’s failure to create any further chances was punished with aplomb when substitute Santi Mina raced through to fire in an equaliser that silenced the Bernabéu. 

FBL-ESP-LIGA-REAL MADRID-CELTA

Having watched Barcelona conquer Getafe a day earlier to go level on points at the top, Real could not find another goal to stretch the lead back to three, and what has so far been a self-destructive title race once again sits on the edge of a knife. 


Real Madrid

Key Talking Point

Zinedine Zidane brought Eden Hazard back into his starting XI for the first time since November, as he made up one third of a formidably experienced forward line which also featured the prolific Karim Benzema and the enigmatic Gareth Bale. 

Eden Hazard

For all their firepower, though, they were astonishingly passive for long spells, and took until the second half to get going. Smolov’s first goal for Celta summed up a first half that fell somewhere in between ‘lethargic’ and ‘abysmal’, as the back line failed to meaningfully engage Aspas or drop off enough to limit the country park of space available to the scorer. 

They improved after the break and got themselves into a winning position, but their failure to create anything of note came back to bite them as substitute Mina struck late. 

FBL-ESP-LIGA-REAL MADRID-CELTA

With a massive couple of weeks coming up, the necessity of lifting their game will not be lost on Zidane’s men, whose lead at the top of La Liga looks immeasurably more fragile than it did a week ago. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Courtois (7); Carvajal (5), Varane (6), Ramos (6), Marcelo (6); Valverde (7), Casemiro (5), Kroos (5); Bale (6), Benzema (5), Hazard (6)

Subs: Vinicius (6), Modric (5), Mendy (N/A)


Star Man 

Real struggled to get themselves up for this one, and it’s a game they almost certainly would not have taken anything from had their man between the sticks not been an imposing force throughout. 



La Liga’s player of the month for January had no chance with the either goal but a world class stop prevented the second before the break, and his self-assured presence was a calming influence throughout. 


Celta Vigo

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Blanco (5); Vásquez (6), Aldoo (7), Murillo (6), Araujo (6), Olaza (6); Yokuslu (7), Bradaric (6), Rafinha (6); Aspas (8), Smolov (6)

Subs: Sisto (5), Suárez (7), Mina (7)


Looking Ahead

Real Madrid have six days to catch their breath before travelling to face Levante on Saturday, followed swiftly by a return to Champions League action against Manchester City. 

Celta, meanwhile have a potential relegation six-pointer with Leganés next weekend.


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