DFB players Antonio Rüdiger and Thomas Müller with an extra shift

The world championship starts in a few days. You can read all information about the tournament here in the news blog.

The most important things at a glance


Hansi Flick released the German national team on Friday. However, that does not apply to two players who have recently been injured: Thomas Müller and Antonio Rüdiger have worked an extra shift. The two potential regular players trained individually with athletics coach Nicklas Dietrich. Both made a good impression.

The two players were also absent at the international match in Oman on Wednesday (1-0). But it looks like both will be fit for the opening game against Japan (Wednesday 2 pm in the live ticker on t-online). Substitutes Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Kevin Trapp were also on the field. ter Stegen was not in Oman due to a gastrointestinal infection – and flew directly to Qatar.

England accept penalty for captain’s armband

England is at risk of being punished for wearing the multicolored One Love captain’s armband at the World Cup in Qatar. Association boss Mark Bullingham said in an interview with Sky News. So far no response has been received to the official announcement, Bullingham said, referring to the organizers. “I think there is a possibility that we will be punished for that. And if that happens, we will pay that fine.”

For him it is “very important to show our values. And that’s what we will do.” Besides England with captain Harry Kane, other countries – including Germany with captain Manuel Neuer – are also planning to use the colorful captain’s armband as a sign of tolerance and cosmopolitanism (read more about this here). As part of the captain’s armband ceremony, there was also widespread outrage among German fans over the colours. You can read what these mean here.

“Fear is gone”: Gladbach’s Itakura ready for Germany match

Japan’s defensive all-rounder Ko Itakura feels ready for the start of the World Cup after his knee injury. The 25-year-old pro from Borussia Mönchengladbach emphasized that he was a little concerned about the start of the World Cup and his stability after a ruptured inner tube. “But the fear is gone,” Itakura told Japanese media after Germany’s 2-1 friendly against Canada. Itakura started in Dubai on Thursday and was only substituted after more than an hour. At Gladbach, after a two-month break, it was only enough for a short appearance in the final minutes.

Itakura should again be an option for the starting eleven for the World Cup opening match against Germany on Wednesday (2 p.m. in the live ticker on t-online). The Bundesliga legionaire feels comfortable in both central defense and defensive midfield. With Japan still struggling with the health of several key players, such as Hidemasa Morita or Stuttgart’s Wataru Endo, Itakura’s timely recovery is particularly valuable for national coach Hajime Moriyasu.

Merz: World Cup “not a political demonstration event”

Friedrich Merz advises German football fans to abide by the laws of the emirate during the World Cup in Qatar. “The World Cup is a sporting event and not a political demonstration event. Ultimately, the fans are guests in Qatar and the rights of the host country must be respected,” the CDU leader told the newspapers of media group Funke.

Before the World Cup kicks off this Sunday (until December 18), the emirate has been criticized for its controversial human rights record. For example, homosexuality is a criminal offense in Qatar. When asked, Merz said: “It’s about football and the freedom of movement and safety of all fans. We have to leave the World Cup as it is: a major sporting event in a country that is rightly viewed critically. Qatar can do that.” show that it is a good host.”

Lahm: Semi-finals should be the goal for DFB

For world champion captain Philipp Lahm, Germany is not one of the top favorites at the World Cup, but the semi-finals must be the goal. “We are definitely not in the top three or four countries at the moment – simply because of the last two finals. The goal should be to get to the last four,” the 39-year-old told the editorial network Germany.

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