Before the complicated World Cup year 2022: Thomas Müller forgets the Nations League

That can really happen. Thomas Müller wants to take a short break after the Champions League final in 2022 at the latest. But the Nations League requires his attention. He forgot her. The year of the World Cup in 2022 will be complicated not only in terms of sports politics, but also in terms of sports.

Thomas Müller and his wife Lisa have to rethink their vacation planning. The national soccer player had firmly assumed that he would be able to pack his bags after the Champions League final on May 28th in St. Petersburg at the latest. But nothing will come of it.

Due to the desert World Cup in Qatar, which begins on November 21, the frame calendar for 2022 will be mixed up a lot. After the final in the premier class, there are four (!) Games in the Nations League in the first two weeks of June. “I didn’t know that,” admitted Müller, unusually meek. In the most spectacular case, it can go against arch-rivals Italy and England as well as the neighbors from Austria in League A on these dates.

A lot is changing, and not just for Müller. The “special year”, as DFB director Oliver Bierhoff calls it, “also makes work difficult for the coaches”. In particular, the obligation to park for just one week before the start of the tournament is a headache for the 1996 European champion. “Let’s see if we can add a preparation game,” said Bierhoff. Because that would actually need national coach Hansi Flick before the final round. But at the same time he always has to keep an eye on the burden on the players.

Just a week of preparation for Qatar

And this is enormous. The summer break will be shortened by the Nations League matches. Only the October date for international matches is omitted, the Nations League will end in September with two more games. In October, however, the professionals remain challenged at their clubs in the league, cup and Champions League. “It’s going to be strange, no question about it, because we haven’t seen a tournament in the winter months yet,” said DFB captain Manuel Neuer.

Bierhoff is therefore required as a designer in consultation with Flick. We are currently looking for two strong test opponents for March. The plans for the World Cup are to be “intensified and finalized” from December onwards, explained the director. The opponents in June and September will be determined after the Nations League draw on December 16. “A large part is determined by UEFA,” said Bierhoff accordingly. He fears that it will be too much of a burden for the players. The quality of the games would then suffer, including at the World Cup. In football, it is about seeing “great and passionate games”.

“That is actually no longer possible with the tight schedule,” said Bierhoff, who is therefore vehemently against the plans of the world association FIFA to host a World Cup every two years: “I have not yet found anyone who said it was a nice one Idea.” But even without this additional burden, the coming year will be challenging enough – and not just for vacation planner Thomas Müller.