Hamann & Heskey Part II: England vs Germany
FFT: What did you think of your respective countries’ performance during Euro 2016?
England have a good squad – but we always have good squads! We need to pick players who are in form and playing regularly
EH: Like the rest of the country – I thought England were very disappointing!
DH: I felt it was good for Germany without being outstanding. Finishing let us down in the semi-final defeat against France.
FFT: Looking at the current squads, what do you make of your respective teams overall heading into the next World Cup cycle?
EH: England has a good squad – but we always have relatively good squads! We need to be picking players who are in form and playing regularly for their clubs. I’m a big fan of Adam Lallana and I also really like Dele Alli and Harry Kane. I think both of them have got big futures in the national team.
DH: To be honest I think Germany look very good. We have some fantastic young players coming through. Joshua Kimmich, who played at the World Cup and has been on fire for Bayern Munich, is going to be a superstar. Max Meyer from Schalke looks like a top player in the making and also Julian Brandt from Bayer Leverkusen has huge potential. I’m very optimistic we can defend our World Cup title at Russia 2018.
FFT: Do you expect to have many troubles qualifying for the 2018 World Cup?
EH: No trouble at all. It’s basically the same old cliché for the England team: “Qualifying isn’t the problem, tournaments are.”
DH: In a word, no!
FFT: Who do you view as the key player for your team along the path to Russia?
EH: Dele Alli – he’s a very exciting talent.
DH: Toni Kroos – he is simply world class. In recent years he has taken over from Bastian Schweinsteiger as the main man in central midfield. He dictates the game and has a great footballing brain. Jerome Boateng will also be a big player for us over the next couple of years.
FFT: It’s still two years away of course, but if you could use your crystal ball, what would be your expectations at the 2018 World Cup?
EH: We must aim high, as the country always does. The semi-finals have to be the target.
DH: I think we will get to the semi-finals as a minimum. Once you get there you need a bit of luck, but I’m confident we will be there or thereabouts.
[NEXT: Their favourite moments in national colours]