The DFB doctor pauses: “It was the most stressful and boring moment”

As national coach for the European Football Championship in 2024, Hansi Flick needs a new team doctor. Tim Meyer (55) is retiring from the DFB squad after 21 years after the World Cup in Qatar. “At some point you come to an age where you can imagine doing anything other than sprinting to the edge of the pitch and handing the footballers the water bottle,” the 55-year-old explains in an interview with the agency. German press. . He had informed the national coach Flick about it immediately after the national team lost the World Cup in Qatar’s return.

Looking back, Meyer, medical director of the Institute for Sport and Preventive Medicine at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, describes the corona pandemic as the “most stressful” and at the same time “most annoying” time. “There was a lot of pressure there. Suddenly players showed up who tested positive on arrival or a few days later. And as a doctor you’re right in the middle of a huge swab of swabs. and avoidance of contact. We have a feeling of helplessness from time to time”, he says: “Despite all the precautionary measures, I thought of the hotel of the team: I hope that nobody won’t wake up in the morning and start coughing.”

Praise of Löw, “pause” under Klinsmann

However, Meyer can mostly look back on good experiences, like the home World Cup in 2006, which he found very emotional. But the World Cup in Brazil is for him at the top of the list, “particularly because we won it”. At no tournament before or after has he been as involved as a doctor in the preparation as in 2014.

Meyer has known four national coaches during his tenure – from Rudi Völler to Jürgen Klinsmann and Joachim Löw to Flick. “Of course, these coaches had very different personalities,” he says. Longtime national coach, Löw, he learned to “strangely appreciate”. The confidence he gave was brilliant to work with. Jogi really had a steady hand and was able to delegate.


He lets nothing come to him: Tim Meyer next to Joachim Löw 2021
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Image: dpa

Klinsmann’s arrival after the preliminary round of the EM in 2004 meant “a real break in the management of the national team”. “He pushed a lot, pushed for fundamental changes. Jürgen pioneered many innovations, but also triggered various conflicts due to overlapping skills that may not have always been wanted.

But what has changed the most overall are the players. The generation growing up in the Bundesliga’s youth academies “learned a completely different way of life, much more sport-oriented than in the past”, remarked the retired team doctor.

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