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German FA considering ditching ‘Die Mannschaft’ moniker for new identity

Berlin (AFP) – The German national football team are considering ditching their ‘Die Mannschaft’ nickname for a new moniker.

The German Football Association (DFB) began referring to the national men’s side as “Die Mannschaft” (The Team) in 2015.

The term, previously only used in foreign media, was adopted to follow in the footsteps of other leading football nations, like England’s ‘Three Lions’ and Brazil’s ‘Selecao’.

But some at the DFB now think it should be scrapped.

“This term is too aloof for me,” said DFB vice-president Hans-Joachim Watzke. “It’s disrespectful to all other successful (national) teams.”

His fellow DFB vice-president Hermann Winkler believes “hardly any of the fans still identify with this term and therefore not with our national team”.

Germany have struggled since winning their fourth World Cup eight years ago, suffering a shock group-stage exit in Russia in 2018 and losing to England in the last 16 of Euro 2020 last year.

Lothar Matthaeus, who holds the record of 150 appearances for Germany, wants the name to be changed because he does not think the side are currently playing like a team.

“It’d be good to invent a new name — to bring in freshness,” he told German daily Bild.

But, unsurprisingly, Germany coach Hansi Flick thinks that focus should be elsewhere, with his side gearing up for the World Cup which gets underway in Qatar in November.

“It doesn’t really matter,” he said. “Whether coach or player, we are proud to be able to work for Germany.  That should be the focus.”

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