Domenico Tedesco is not concerned about proving himself in his return to Germany as he takes charge of Belgium
Having been previously sacked by RB Leipzig and Schalke, despite winning the DFB-Pokal in the 2021-22 season, Tedesco was let go by Leipzig after only nine months in the position.
Domenico Tedesco was dismissed by Schalke in March 2019, just a year after leading the club to a runner-up finish in the Bundesliga.
However, as he prepares for Belgium‘s friendly against Germany in Cologne, the 37-year-old maintains that he is satisfied with what he accomplished during his two stints in the country where he was raised.
“I love my job and I am happy with what I have already achieved,” he said at Monday’s pre-match press conference.
“I always want to win, but I feel I have nothing to prove to the Germans. The coach is not that important, either – the players make the difference.”
Germany and Belgium had disappointing campaigns in the World Cup and were both knocked out in the group stage in Qatar despite high expectations before the tournament.
Germany, who are four-time world champions, have dropped to 14th place in the FIFA rankings, which is 10 places lower than Belgium. However, Tedesco believes that their current ranking does not accurately reflect the quality of the German team.
“How is it possible that they’re 14th?” he asked reporters. “At the World Cup in Qatar they had so many chances, they just didn’t score enough.
“No one had more expected goals than Germany. Even if Germany were last in the FIFA rankings, that wouldn’t change anything. We want to win, even if it’s a friendly game.
“Germany have a few new young players, but they are players from top teams. They remain a strong country.”
Tedesco happy to live in Belgium after retirement
On Saturday, Germany won 2-0 against Peru. And on Friday, Belgium started their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a 3-0 victory over Sweden with Romelu Lukaku’s hat-trick.
Although Lukaku has struggled for Inter Milan this season. Tedesco believes that the 29-year-old’s contribution goes beyond just scoring goals.
“Don’t judge him solely on that,” the Italian said. “He is looking in good shape and was proud after scoring his hat-trick – rightly so.
“I want him to be happy. He has the qualities to play for any side, including Inter. He is a good guy and he deserves to be happy when he plays.”
Kai Havertz and Nico Schlotterbeck are unavailable for Germany, and Thibaut Courtois, Belgium’s first-choice goalkeeper, has not traveled with the squad. This presents an opportunity for Koen Casteels, who is familiar to the German fans due to his more than a decade of playing in the Bundesliga.
“I don’t have to show myself in Germany anymore – they know me here,” the Wolfsburg goalkeeper said. “Germany is my second home. It’s nice to play here.
“I feel a lot of recognition in Germany, maybe more than in Belgium. I am spoken of more positively here; in Belgium less so and have resigned myself to that.
“But after my career I’m just going to live in Belgium again.”