Niclas Fullkrug, while making his first start for Germany, scored a brace to take his tally of international goals to five from as many games
Germany coach Hansi Flick praised Niclas Fullkrug for his impact on the team after the striker scored twice in their 2-0 victory over Peru, stating that he has the ability to “pull the team along”.
Fullkrug’s two goals, which came in the first half, helped Germany secure a comfortable win in their first match of 2023 as hosts of Euro 2024.
On Saturday’s friendly in Mainz, Germany were in control and would have gone 3-0 up if it weren’t for an unusual rule that disallowed Kai Havertz’s goal from the rebound after he hit the post with a penalty, as no other player had touched the ball yet.
Flick praised the ‘positive energy’ Fullkrug brings to Die Mannschaft
Germany’s coach, Hansi Flick, had high praise for Niclas Fullkrug, who scored two goals in the match and has now scored five goals in five international appearances. Fullkrug also became the first Werder Bremen player to start for Germany since Serge Gnabry in 2016.
“Niclas is a player who is special, he is very confident, he wants to win and can pull the team along. He also gives the team a lot of positive energy,” Flick told Sky Sport.
Sandro Wagner is the only other player this century to have scored five goals across his first five appearances for Germany.
However, there are elements for Fullkrug to work on, with Flick noting: “There were a few situations that I wasn’t happy with today.
“If we play forward, we have to have a certain seriousness about it“
“Niclas has also had one or two situations where he can be better, but he’s still there for goals and he scored them.”
Germany’s match against Peru was their first game since their early exit from the World Cup.
Despite this, they managed to maintain their unbeaten run in friendlies, which now stands at 13 games (8 wins, 5 draws), matching their previous record set between 1994 and 1996.
“I think you could see that the team played with a lot of dynamism, especially when it came to attacking,” Flick said.
“A lot of things were good, but not yet at 100 per cent, although you couldn’t expect because we didn’t train very much.
“The team has never played together in this formation, but there were still a few situations that we played out well, where the last pass was missing.
“We scored two nice goals and kept a clean sheet, which was a focus for us this week.”