Saturday at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin
Everything you need to know about the international match between Germany and Türkiye
The German national football team will meet Turkey at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on Saturday evening: kick-off is at 8.45pm. Let’s clarify the most important questions about the test match, look at the opponents and the explosive sporting history of both teams.
The test match against Turkey is not about points, but for DFB coach Julian Nagelsmann the match is still important. The new national team coach has only a few matches left before having to name a competitive team for the 2024 European Championship in his country. After three disappointing tournaments, players and fans want a sense of success.
Nagelsmann wants to do many things differently than his predecessors Joachim Löw and Hansi Flick. Against Turkey he will probably rely on fresh strength again. With former Union players Robert Andrich and Grischa Prömel, Bremen striker Marvin Duksch and replacement goalkeepers Oliver Baumann and Janis Blaswich, there are five players in the squad who have never played for the senior national team.
The first two games with Nagelsmann showed a positive trend. After falling behind, they celebrated an easy 3-1 victory against the United States. In the second match of the trip to the United States there was a decent 2-2 draw against Mexico, although in this match the coordination problems in defense became visible again.
Under the guidance of Italian coach Vincenzo Montella, Turkey qualified for next summer’s European Championships by winning against Latvia and Croatia. A German did the preparatory work: Stefan Kuntz was the coach of the Turkish national team until the end of September and achieved an almost perfect result with three wins and a draw in four qualifying matches. However, he fell out with the association and parts of the team. Shortly before his dismissal, he said: “The players have to get to the level of giving 100%. If they don’t give 100%, it hurts me.”
Bundesliga fans know what level many players can reach in the best case scenario: with Kaan Ayhan, Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Salih Özcan three players born in Germany and trained as footballers here could be used.
When Hertha played against Galatasaray in the UEFA Cup in 2008, 62,612 spectators arrived at the Olympic Stadium, the fans of the Turkish team were “two thirds of them”, as Hertha coach Dieter Hoeneß calculated at the time.
On Saturday, 10,000 more spectators are expected than 15 years ago and it is likely that the distribution between German and Turkish fans will be repeated. Julian Nagelsmann’s team expects a concert of boos every time they touch the ball. This is what the passionate fans of the Turkish team are known for.
In October 2010, the German national team met Turkey once at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, at the time the most important match in Group A of the European Championship qualifiers. Every time he touched the ball, then 21-year-old Mesut Özil was booed mercilessly by thousands of Turkish and Turkish-born fans, and abusive chants against him were also heard. Many Turkish fans resented his decision to play for the German team and not Turkey, the homeland of his parents.
Miroslav Klose made it 1-0 in the 42nd minute and Mesut Özil himself made it 2-0 midway through the second half in front of Turkish goalkeeper Volkan Demirel. Özil’s celebration was extremely subdued and when the stadium announcer announced the marker, he was once again accompanied by a shrill concert of boos. In the end Miroslav Klose made it 3-0 in front of 74,244 spectators.
Overall, the balance sheet speaks clearly in favor of the DFB team. In 21 matches, Germany has won 14 times against Turkey, with four draws and three defeats. The last match was on October 7, 2020. In Cologne the test match at that time was 3-3. Germany’s scorers were Draxler, Neuhaus and Waldschmidt, while Turkey scored Tufan, Karaca and Karaman.
The visit to the stadium
Spectators should get to the Olympic Stadium early and use public transport if possible, police recommend. “The big challenge is the large number of events spread over the day,” says police spokesperson Dierschke.
There may be traffic restrictions throughout the city. Over 3,000 officers from the Berlin police and the federal police will be on duty on Saturday, who will have to guarantee not only the international match but also the demonstrations. Due to the dynamic situation it is not possible to quantify exactly how many emergency services are specifically responsible for the international match, explains Dierschke. But the police expect a peaceful football celebration.
Broadcast: rbb24 Inforadio, November 18, 2023, 8:15 am