Nevertheless, compared to the last international tournaments Bayern Munich has significantly less players active this summer. There are three less players compared to the last Word Cup 2014 and eleven instead of thirteen players compared to the EURO 2012.
We start with David Alaba, who is the big star end the leader in the Austrian national team. Few footballers ever had a similar status in Austria, usually the athletes with the biggest national support do have snow instead of grass under their feet. But Alaba is something special: He is the first Austrian footballer that has managed to get Austria back on the football map and is well known, not only in Germany. Although his fellow teammates in the national team also play in the Bundesliga or the Premier League, they do not bring that touch of world-class to the team of Marcel Koller, who has developed his side with a clear profile and a clear tactical orientation.
Alaba’s role in the Austrian system is the offensive number six. While the other number six, Julian Baumgartlinger, rather occupies the defensive part, Alaba has a lot of freedom to roam up front and even appear next to Zlatko Junuzovic, who plays the classic number ten. Christian Fuchs is the captain of the Austrian national team and he plays as the left full-back, so there is no need for Alaba in the back-four. Fuchs brings enormous experience to the team, but the key player is clearly Alaba, who is responsible for the transition game and who takes the free kicks and penalties. In a balanced Austrian squad he is the spearhead and his mission is to lead his team out of the group stage at their first appearance at a European Championship. Given the group opponents Hungary, Portugal and Iceland, this doesn’t have to be an impossible task.
Arturo Vidal at the European Championships? No, unfortunately not. But the midfielder already had his first game at the Copa America. The 1-2 defeat against Argentina was a really poor start into the tournament. Jorge Sampaoli’s clear philosophy is gone as well as the coach and the team is left with a chaotic system in which not even Arturo Vidal can do the clean-up, and that’s saying something. His colleagues in central midfield, Marcelo Diaz and Charles Aranguiz, cannot control the game, the structure is chaotic and Vidal committed some silly fouls against Argentina.
In the next games Chile will face Panama and Bolivia, two games that must be won to advance to the final rounds. For Vidal, this means that he has to take control of the game, just like in the second part of the season in Munich. Otherwise, it could happen that he will suddenly pop up at the beginning of the training season in Munich – which would not make many people sad at the Säbener Straße.
It’s hard to believe: After Bayern was heavily criticized for their Spain-centric purchases in recent years, only one player has made it into the Spanish national team at the EURO 2016. Thiago was the only Spaniard in Munich who did not have a major injury break last season and who hasn’t already resigned. In the star studded Spanish midfield Thiago will have to fight for his place in the first XI. It is not possible to judge from the outside, how his chances are against Fabregas, Iniesta, Koke & Co. If Thiago continues to play like in the last few months in Munich, it is likely – to say the least – that he will have a difficult time to get many minutes.
In the vast majority of the EURO 2016 teams a 19-year-old, who has played the season of Kingsley Coman, would probably be among the starting XI for sure. In the French national team, however, the available players for the offensive wings are so illustrious that it will probably be only enough to secure a place as a substitute. Not too bad a situation, when one remembers what impact Coman can bring into the game, just like he did against Juventus. The French national team has one of the best rosters of the tournament, because they have a mixture of high-class players (e.g. Griezmann) and players in the form of their lives (Kanté). Kingsley Coman will collect his minutes at the European Championship on home soil, whether in the starting XI or coming from the bench, an experiences that will help him at Bayern.
Few words are needed to describe Robert Lewandowski’s role in the Polish national team: He is the captain, the most expensive player and on track to leap frog Włodzimierz Lubański, as the Polish top scorer. After a quite sobering display of Poland at the EURO 2012 in their own country, the team of coach Adam Nawałka aims at making it out of the group phase for the first time, facing Northern Ireland, Germany and the Ukraine. Not an easy task, but with a strong Lewandowski, who is the centre of their game, possible. The advantage: The Bundesliga top scorer can influence his team’s performance even from his very offensive position, compared to other, more traditional strikers.
Who is missing?
Some Bayern players are missing out this summer. Arjen Robben and his Dutch team managed to not qualify for the tournament – for the winger, the EURO 2016 would have come at a bad timing. His counterpart on the left wing, Franck Ribery will not strengthen the French national team. Franck Ribery would have liked to come back, but didn’t get an invitation by coach Deschamps. The Spaniards are leaving out Juan Bernat and Javi Martínez, two Bayern players that could have been expected at the European Championships. The latter’s nomination was hampered by some injuries while Bernat has a poor season behind him. Douglas Costa’s plan to go to the Copa America was stopped by a muscle injury.
What’s next on Miasanrot?
During the tournament we will publish a round-up after group match-days about the performances of the Bayern players in their national teams. In short: If anything that will be relevant for Bayern will happen at the EURO 2016 and the Copa America will happen, there will be at Miasanrot article about it.