Germany advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup earlier this week, but are now in some dire straights ahead of its quarterfinal matchup with France.
According to a report by The Daily Mail in the UK, no fewer than seven players are suffering from the flu. Manager Joachim Low confirmed something was going on, saying some players were “slightly ill.”
However, Low also attempted to downplay the effects of the illness on his players. “It’s not that bad at the moment,’ he said, ‘I don’t want to over-dramatize it.”
If it were one or two players maybe we could buy that statement, but when you are getting ready to face France on Friday having nearly an entire group of outfield players down sick isn’t exactly confidence building.
One of the big names thought to be suffering from the flu is defender Matt Hummels. Having the flu would explain why Hummels was a surprised scratch from Germany’s round-of-16 matchup with Algeria.
Also thought to be among the players down with the flu are Christoph Kramer and star Thomas Muller. Kramer was missing from a training session earlier this week, while Muller had been showing symptoms of the flu before the Algeria game kicked off.
How does that happen with top-level athletes whose diets and every move are closely monitored? According to Low, it is all about the climate in Brazil and the long distance traveling his team has done.
“We’re constantly having to travel between different climate zones,’ the Germany boss complained, via the Daily Mail. “It’s understandable that the guys get a bit under the weather, and that it starts to spread.”
If Germany is down three or four players or not at 100 percent fitness that could be a massive blow to its chances against one of the best attacking sides in the World Cup—scoring 10 goals in four matches, third most of any team in the World Cup.