Germany’s World Cup hopes had been hanging by a thread after Hansi Flick’s facet went 1-0 all the way down to Spain on Sunday, however an unlikely hero emerged off the bench within the form of Werder Bremen’s 29-year-old ahead Niclas Fullkrug.
The attacker changed Thomas Muller with simply 20 minutes of regular time remaining and wanted little over 10 minutes to fireside Germany again on stage phrases with a objective that breathed contemporary life into Die Mannschaft’s hopes of progressing to the final 16 in Qatar.
Fullkrug burst via on objective and, with solely Spain stopper Unai Simon to beat, smashed an unstoppable effort into the roof of the web to make it 1-1 and rescue an important level for Hansi Flick’s facet forward of their ultimate group match in opposition to Costa Rica.
The objective caps a outstanding rise for Fullkrug, who had not performed a single minute of senior worldwide soccer a yr in the past.
So, who’s he and the way did he make it to World Cup 2022? GOAL has all the small print.
Who’s Niclas Fullkrug?
Fullkrug is a no-nonsense striker who got here via the youth system at Werder Bremen and is now again on the membership the place he started his profession after spells with Greuther Fürth, FC Nurnberg, and Hannover 96.
He additionally represented Germany at U18, U19 and U20 ranges, however was made to attend for his probability within the senior squad.
Time within the German second division with Nuremberg and Greuther Fürth noticed Fullkrug rating 24 instances in 85 video games earlier than he joined Hannover 96 in 2016. Fullkrug went on to attain 14 instances for Hannover within the German prime flight in 2017-18 however a knee harm then disrupted his progress.
The striker returned to Werder Bremen in 2019 and has gone on to catch Flick’s eye along with his goalscoring exploits for the River Islanders. Fullkrug was a giant purpose why Bremen had been promoted final season and secured a right away return to the Bundesliga.
What number of targets has Fullkrug scored?
Bremen’s No. 11 bagged a powerful 19 targets and contributed eight assists final season and has continued his sizzling streak within the present marketing campaign, which resulted in a global call-up. Fullkrug is the Bundesliga’s top-scoring German and has netted 10 instances in simply 14 outings this season.
His targets noticed him earn the Bundesliga’s Participant of the Month award for each September and October and undoubtedly helped him e book his place within the Germany squad for the competitors in Qatar.
Fullkrug made his Germany debut earlier this month in a pleasant in opposition to Oman, turning into the oldest outfield participant to make his debut for Die Mannschaft on the age of 29 years and 280 days. But Fullkrug shortly confirmed what he is all about by scoring the one objective of the sport in a 1-0 win.
The Werder Bremen striker then made his World Cup debut in opposition to Japan in Germany’s opening 2-1 defeat and adopted that up by scoring his first objective within the competitors in opposition to Spain. Fullkrug’s objective additionally means he is the primary German substitute to attain a World Cup objective since Mario Gotze within the 2014 ultimate in opposition to Argentina.
What has been stated about Fullkrug?
Fullkrug has been beforehand in comparison with former Germany forwards Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez, and is nicknamed ‘Lücke’ (the German phrase for hole) because of the hole between his tooth.
Germany coach Hansi Flick has been comfortable to clarify why he known as up Fullkrug into his squad for the match in Qatar. Flick is with out duo Timo Werner and Lukas Nmecha attributable to harm and made it clear he wished in-form strikers with him in Qatar.
“Niclas has the momentum on his facet as properly, in addition to the way in which he provides his providers to the group,” he advised reporters. “That is clear while you see his targets, and that is additionally the suggestions I received from [Werder Bremen coach] Ole Werner.”
Werder Bremen team-mate Niklas Stark additionally backed Fullkrug for the call-up. He stated: “Fülle may be necessary for the nationwide group, identical to he’s for us. There are excellent technical gamers [ahead of him], however if you wish to play with a basic 9, I do not suppose there’s anybody higher.”
Fullkrug shall be hoping for extra World Cup possibilities after maintaining Germany within the competitors. Flick’s facet should nonetheless beat Costa Rica of their ultimate group sport, and hope Japan don’t shock Spain, if they’re to progress, which suggests there’s nonetheless time for extra heroics from Germany’s No.9.