After the spit attack against Salih Özcan three years ago, Germany will meet eternal rivals Netherlands again at the U21 European Championship on Saturday. Midfield engine Vitaly Janelt announced that he wanted to give the right answer.
“We had a bit of training today and Salih came up to me again and asked if I remembered it,” Janelt said on Thursday at a DFB press conference SPOX and goal.
In 2018, the Netherlands’s Jordan Teze spat in a U20 international match of the then German captain Salih Özcan in the face after he had awarded the possible winner with a penalty. “I wasn’t there myself, but saw it on TV,” Janelt continued.
Memories of a legendary scene were awakened: In the second round of the 1990 World Cup, Frank Rijkaard spat in Rudi Völler’s curly hair and was then sent off with red – later even his fists flew in the cabin corridor. On Saturday this rivalry will be held again at the U21 European Championships in Slovenia and Hungary, which was not so much in the focus of the men recently.
“I have played against Holland with the U19s once, it was a very physical game, I would say,” added Germany’s right-back Josha Vagnoman with a smile and expects his team to bring the necessary mentality for the second group game: “Of course we will support Salih with something like that, that’s part of the team. “
Vitaly Janelt: The atmosphere in the team is “outstanding”
After the surprising 1-1 draw against Romania at the start of the tournament, everything is already at stake for the Netherlands. A defeat might be the end of the tournament for the top favorite. “They are of course a strong team, they will try to gamble,” says Janelt and indicates the possible path to victory: “I think we have to piss them off. If we win, we are through, everyone knows that! “
Germany celebrated a tailor-made tournament kick-off against Hungary. The atmosphere in the team, which Janelt describes as “outstanding”, also played a decisive factor. “Everyone knows that when we come here we are something like a family. Everyone knows what to look forward to and that the team behind the team is up for it,” said Janelt.
In addition, Stefan Kuntz’s team is already a good unit despite the short preparation time of two days: “We are in 9th place in terms of market value, but everyone who knows Germany knows that it is a team and the guys with head and heart play.”
Germany now needs that heart again against Elftal, the memory of the spitting attack of 2018 seems to be an incentive for Janelt: “We have to deliver the answer on Saturday – and if we win, that’s answer enough.”