Bierhoff’s confidential ACL victim Wirtz will return to the World Cup

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Florian Wirtz can roar back to battle for Germany for the World Cup and end a test year playing the lead role in Qatar 2022, according to Oliver Bierhoff.

The 18-year-old offensive midfielder suffered a major knee injury during Bayer Leverkusen’s defeat to FC Cologne earlier this month, with a torn anterior cruciate ligament guaranteeing a long absence.

But when he spoke at a press conference ahead of friends against Israel and the Netherlands, the national team’s CEO Bierhoff believes that Wirtz has both the incentive and the physical qualities that mean his prospects are positive.

The teenager has already earned four senior internationals for Germany, having made his debut in September last year after dazzling at club level.

There is no doubt that Wirtz is a recipient of the World Cup, which takes place unusually in November and December, as he now has a hope of getting fit and ready for the match.

Had the tournament run in June and July, as has been the custom, he would now have been excluded from Germany’s plans.

“I am absolutely convinced that he can do it for various reasons,” Bierhoff said. “First of all, there is the mental aspect when you have a World Cup ahead of you.

“But he’s also a light-footed player and I’m always sure they get over it a little faster. We will provide all possible support in coordination with the club. “

“Our requirement is that the players have the World Cup in their heads all year round.

“I firmly believe that if you start early and at the same time deal with this issue mentally and build this inner will, you will do everything you can to want to play a successful tournament in November.

“We will always provide players with material so they can take this a step further.”

With 10 goals and 14 assists across all tournaments, Wirtz has the most direct goal involvement among players under 21 in 2021-22 from Europe’s top five leagues.

The 19 great chances created by Wirtz are only enhanced by Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Muller and Dimitri Payet (all at 20), as well as Trent Alexander-Arnold (22) and Bruno Fernandes (23).



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