From BZ/dpa

    Niclas Füllkrug fulfills the joker job against Spain. He steals the ball from Musiala’s foot and scores to make it 1-1. From Flick to Neuer to Rüdiger, everyone praises the man from Bremen who occupies the vacancy at the top.

    Niclas filling jug Even after his first World Cup goal, the cool Niclas Füllkrug remained. The 29-year-old SV Werder Bremen center forward, who gave the German team a valuable point in the 1-1 draw against Spain with his joker goal, saw no reason to freak out after his first real feat as a national soccer player.

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    “I’m very relaxed in such situations, it’s not the first important goal,” said Füllkrug after midnight in the Al Bait Stadium and added with a view to the group constellation that was still tricky before the last preliminary round match against Costa Rica on Thursday. “We don’t need to go crazy now, it’s 1-1 and not a win.”

    Germany's Niclas FUELLKRUG socres a goal during the FIFA World Cup Group E match at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar on Nov. 27, 2022. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )

    Niclas Füllkrug withdraws. Jamal Musiala watches in amazement. The Spanish defense comes too late Photo: picture alliance/ AP

    He, the center forward who was called up so late, rose to become Germany’s hopefuls at the World Cup in Qatar on Sunday evening.

    “I think it was important that somebody broke the knot,” he said modestly. He did that on his goal, which befitted a full-blooded striker. He stole it Jamal Musiala just got the ball off his foot, took it with his left and sunk it powerfully high in the long corner.

    “I was just totally running. And then the ball was at my feet. And then it was just instinct that acted there. This is an automatism. It’s nice that the ball lands in the corner like that,” said Füllkrug, describing his big moment.

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    There was a lot of praise from national coach Hansi Flick. “I think he showed with his determination how to score goals. That is what distinguishes him. That’s why he’s there. He gives the team a lot, not just this goal.”

    Germany's Niclas Fuellkrug, center, is congratulated by his teammates after scoring their side's first goal during the World Cup group E soccer match between Spain and Germany, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. ( AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    Antonio Rüdiger hugs Niclas Füllkrug after his goal to make it 1-1 against Spain Photo: picture alliance/ AP

    Füllkrug also quickly convinced the managers in the team of his qualities and character. “I think Niclas is giving us something up front that we don’t have,” said defender Antonio Rüdiger about the long-awaited real nine in the attack.

    Captain Manuel Neuer was impressed by Füllkrug’s determination, which he also demonstrated with his goal. “I think there are instinctive players that just make that decision. He did it very confidently and accurately with the shot. We need that.”

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