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Germany starts the tournament with a lot of ball possession against Japan

8 minutes: Gündogan fritters away the ball in midfield.

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Germany starts the tournament with a lot of ball possession against Japan

8 minutes: Gündogan fritters away the ball in midfield. Japan switch quickly and take David Raum by surprise at the German left-back. Maeda used the quick pass into the penalty area to put it 1-0 for Japan. The striker is a meter offside.

7 minutes: The game takes place exclusively in midfield. There are no clear actions yet.

3 minutes: Germany starts with a lot of possession. The team gains security by letting the ball run through their own ranks. It can already be seen that when Musiala is in action, things move forward quickly.

1st minute: Germany kicks off and starts the World Cup.

Here we go. Germany starts against Japan in the World Cup. National coach Hansi Flick builds on Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry and Kai Havertz on the offensive. Behind it, difference player Jamal Musiala should make the game with his outstanding technical skills. Müller is the only German player from the starting eleven who has scored at a World Cup so far.

Nico Schlotterbeck makes his World Cup debut on the defensive. In front of the central defender, Ilkay Gündogan is preferred to Leon Goretzka in defensive midfield. In addition to Schlotterbeck, Serge Gnabry, Kai Havertz, David Raum and Musiala play their first World Cup game.

Europa League winner Daichi Kamada and four other Germany legionnaires are in the World Cup opener against Germany in the Japanese starting XI. Coach Hajime Moriyasu opted for Kamada from Eintracht Frankfurt in attacking midfield, as did Wataru Endo (VfB Stuttgart), Maya Yoshida from FC Schalke 04, Ko Itakura (Borussia Mönchengladbach) and second division professional Ao Tanaka (Fortuna Düsseldorf).

National coach Hansi Flick is happy when football is finally in the foreground. "When we play, the focus is absolutely on football," said Flick on ARD. He can only support his players on all the other issues: “We are here to play football. We want to show a nice and successful game." When asked if the team had come up with a form of protest, he smiled and said: "Let's see."

DFB President Bernd Neuendorf on ARD: "Fifa works with intimidation and pressure. The players are of course looking forward to the tournament. It's incredibly difficult to tell the players that we're going to take sanctions when we don't even know what they are. We are in opposition to Fifa. We have to consider what conclusions we can draw from this intolerable situation during a tournament. We don't get any specific information from Fifa, that's part of their agenda."

The countdown to the German World Cup opener against Japan is on. Fifa posted photos from the German dressing room on their Twitter account 90 minutes before kick-off. Among other things, you can see: Manuel Neuer's place. The captain's armband with which he is supposed to wear hangs over his jersey. On the white piece of fabric is written in black letters: NO DISCRIMINATION.

of the German national team for the game against Japan is here. National coach Hansi Flick builds on Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry (both FC Bayern) and Kai Havertz (FC Chelsea) on the offensive. Dortmund's Nico Schlotterbeck plays in central defense alongside defender Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea FC). David Raum (RB Leipzig) and Niklas Süle (Borussia Dortmund) run on the flanks.

Leon Goretzka, Bayern midfielder, initially only sits on the bench. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) takes his position in defensive midfield alongside Joshua Kimmich. Flick indicated yesterday that Müller would be in the starting XI: "Thomas is definitely an option. He did a very good job in training.”

The ban on the "One Love" captain's armband continues to be the dominant topic ahead of Germany's opening game against Japan. In the opinion of the DFB director, the discussion burdens the preparation of the national team. The 54-year-old spoke of the timing of the Fifa dictate of a special pressure that would be exposed to the players who wanted to focus on their sporting tasks.

“Our players are concerned with the reactions in Germany. Of course you know what's going on at home. You always get criticism,” said DFB director Oliver Bierhoff on ARD. When asked if there would be any action by the team, he replied meaningfully: "We'll see."

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has criticized the Qatari authorities for their handling of rainbow badges at the World Cup in Qatar. "I'm very disappointed," said the SPD politician about the case of a German fan who had an armband and a rainbow-colored sweatband removed. "That's not how I understand the security guarantees that the Interior Minister gave me." Prime Minister and Interior Minister Chalid bin Chalifa Al-Thani assured Faeser in Qatar at the beginning of November that everyone was welcome to the World Cup.

During the conversation at the DFB's mobile fan embassy, ​​DFB President Bernd Neuendorf reported that he was in contact with other European associations. "We've had word from different teams that rainbow ties have been taken down," he said, echoing the words of Fifa President Gianni Infantino, who also said "everyone" is welcome in Qatar. "This is not a sign of welcome for us," said Neuendorf.

Before Thomas Meunier joined Borussia Dortmund, the Belgian played for Paris St. Germain. In the French newspaper L'Equipe, the defender takes a critical look at his time at the French club: "I can't say now: the Qataris are assholes. I played for PSG for four years. I was aware of everything that was happening here. You could also say I supported that by agreeing to play for a Qatari state club.”

From soccer player to TV commentator – and now onto the World Cup stage: Christina Graf is the first woman to commentate on a game at a men’s World Cup for ARD in Qatar.

Lars Klingbeil sharply criticized FIFA in the debate about banning the "One Love" captain's armband at the World Cup in Qatar. "Fifa is destroying our football and that must have consequences," said the co-chairman of the SPD on RTL. At the same time, he welcomed the fact that the DFB was considering a complaint before the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Klingbeil protected the players of the German national team. "The fact that many sports officials have done a lot wrong in the last twelve years cannot be blamed on the players," he said.

In terms of sport, the start of the World Cup against Australia was successful. But the French threaten to run out of players. Now Bayern's Lucas Hernandez has the worst possible diagnosis. It is the fourth failure of a top performer.

According to English media reports, England captain Harry Kane will undergo an examination of his right ankle before the next World Cup game. The top scorer was hit on the ankle in the second half of Monday's opening win against Iran (6-2).

The investigation should determine the extent of the problem before the game against the USA on Friday (8 p.m. / ARD and MagentaTV), the BBC reported, among other things. Kane was substituted against Iran in the 75th minute.

Fifa has ordered: No "One Love" bandage at the World Cup, otherwise there will be a penalty. But which set of rules does the world association refer to? And what legal options does the DFB have? Martin Nolte is a professor of sports law and knows the answers.

If Lothar Matthäus were the coach of a selection of the best World Cup players, only Joshua Kimmich would get a place in his starting XI from the German team. "I really had a hard time tinkering, I had to decide against one or the other world-class player. I think I've found a good mix of young and more experienced players," wrote the record German international in SPORT BILD.

In goal, Matthäus chose Belgian Thibaut Courtois, his offensive three-man line consists of Brazilian Vinícius Júnior, Poland's Robert Lewandowski and Kylian Mbappé from France. Behind him, Matthäus chose the combination of Kimmich with Belgian Kevin De Bruyne and Lionel Messi from Argentina. His preferred back four consists of Canadian Alphonso Davies, Dutchman Virgil van Dijk, Argentina's Cristian Romero and Moroccan Achraf Hakimi.

In the dispute over the "One Love" captain's armband, Thomas Müller defended his teammates. "Anyone who expects us footballers to completely leave our path as athletes and give up our sporting dreams, for which we have worked all our football life, in order to position ourselves even more politically, will be disappointed," Müller wrote on Instagram the World Cup opener against Japan on Wednesday (2 p.m. / ARD and MagentaTV).

At the same time, the professional from Bayern Munich expressed a lack of understanding for the approach of the world association: "The position of Fifa as well as the way of communicating about the ban on pads is in no way understandable for us."

"The unrest surrounding the events leading up to the World Cup tournament in Qatar, the ban on the One Love bandage and other strange actions and statements by Fifa are of concern to us players and the entire team," said Müller. The team and the German Football Association (DFB) are socially committed, the 33-year-old wrote: "With our team foundation, we have launched various initiatives not only in connection with the tournament in Qatar, but also throughout Germany. "

The World Cup tournament in Qatar continues to attract comparatively few viewers in front of the TV sets. ZDF is the main one to suffer from this. Even in the opening game, the market share was rather small.

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