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Germany’s ‘phenomenal’ Musiala is excited again at homecoming in Stuttgart

Host nation Germany secured a place in the knockout round of the 2024 European Championship thanks to a dazzling performance by Jamal Musiala in his hometown of Stuttgart.

Musiala, named man of the match against Scotland on Friday, was again enthusiastic for Julian Nagelsmann’s team. He scored in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Hungary and helped set up the second, while creating a number of further chances.

Germany and Real Madrid defender Antonio Ruediger, who has played alongside some of the best in the sport, praised the ‘great’ Musiala after the match.

‘This man is very good.

“With his dribbling and everything, he takes risks in certain situations, but that’s okay, that’s why we defenders are there.

“He’s phenomenal.”

Speaking to the press after the 5-1 win over the Scots in the tournament opener, Musiala was asked if he had played the best match of his life.

“Yes, you could say it works when we are in flow,” he said.

After a dominant performance in which he showed vision and composure alongside his usual creative brilliance, it is clear that Musiala – and Germany – have even better games ahead of them.

Two goals in two games

Musiala opened the scoring after 22 minutes on Wednesday, hitting the ball home from close range after a pass from Ilkay Gundogan, who weaved his way through the Hungarian defense.

The goal was reminiscent of his goal in Friday’s victory and showed that there is more to Musiala’s game than stylish dribbling.

He appeared to have repeated the trick just before half-time, but his long-range effort hit the side netting.

Midway through the second half and with Hungary outclassed but dangerous on the counter, Musiala was the architect of Germany’s second half.

Musiala held the ball up before passing left to Maximilian Mittelstaedt, who hit the ball back for Gundogan to sweep the ball home.

He also impressed in defense, coming back at one point in the first half to clear out a potential Hungarian counter.

Homecoming

Before the tournament, Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s national railway company, placed signs at stations around the city to remind passengers they were in the “birthplace of Jamal Musiala.”

He was born in Stuttgart and grew up 250 kilometers away in Fulda before moving to England where he learned his trade, but the city is only the latest to lay claim to the talented 21-year-old.

Abroad, especially in England, Musiala is seen as the one who got away – largely because he is a product of the country’s impressive junior development system.

Musiala represented England as a teenager alongside current superstar Jude Bellingham, but opted to represent Germany in 2021 at the age of 18 after moving to Bayern Munich.

After Germany were eliminated in the group stages for the second World Cup in a row in Qatar, Musiala – one of the few shining lights – was held up as an example of why the country needed to overhaul its player development system.

Musiala previously played for Germany in Stuttgart, coming off the bench in a 6-0 thrashing of Armenia with the stadium only a third full due to Covid restrictions.

This time, however, he was showered with rapturous applause when he was subbed off with 18 minutes to go. It felt as if Germany’s most beautiful jewel had truly arrived – and with it the home side’s hopes of a fourth Euro.

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