Schäfer Set For International Role?
Will Christian Schäfer Join The International Stage?
The availability of German manager Christian Schäfer has been a hot topic of conversation since his resignation from last season's Champions League and Bundesliga winners Dynamo Dresden. It has been just three days since 'Der Professor' left his beloved local side, and the race to land his signature has heated up significantly.
Sky Sports understands that Liga NOS side SL Benfica have a keen interest in making Christian Schäfer the successor to the outgoing Jorginho, with Slaven Bilic also in the running. Ligue 1 clubs Olympique Marseille and Girondins Bordeaux have also expressed an interest in the German's availability, while FC Bayern München are debating whether to include the manager in their shortlist, with Schäfer having only seven years of experience under his belt.
However, the most exciting rumours regarding Schäfer's future come from the international scene. The football associations of Belgium and England are said to be keen on acquiring his services, but it is the interest of France and Brazil that has shifted the focus of the media eye. Both nations experienced disappointing World Cup campaigns this summer, as they crashed out in the Last 16.
Could The Sheer Depth Of France's Talent Pool Tempt Christian Schäfer To Les Bleus?
France have since dropped to an unimpressive 11th in the FIFA World Rankings, and have since sacked manager Anthony Réveillère. Portugal were the side who put France to the sword in the World Cup, and this was the second consecutive World Cup where they had fallen out after the Last 16, with Colombia comfortably putting them to the sword in 2018. They will be hoping for better fortune in the European Championship in two years time, having only reached the quarter finals in 2020.
Les Bleus, as they are commonly known as, boast a strong and exciting squad lead by captain Abdou Diallo of AS Monaco. Kurt Zouma of Chelsea is understudy to him, and together they compete for starting roles in a defence which also boasts the likes of FC Bayern München's Aymeric Laporte and Real Madrid's Raphaël Varane. Their midfield is where some of their true power lies in the shape of Juventus' Paul Pogba, FC Bayern München's Kingsley Coman, Paris Saint-Germain's Adrian Rabiot, and Geoffrey Kondogbia of Christian Schäfer's former club Dynamo Dresden. Of course, one could not forget to mention Real Madrid's superstar striker Anthony Martial, or AS Monaco's twenty-one year old striker David Clement, both of whom hold incredible strike rates for club and country.
Should Christian Schäfer take the reigns in France, his first task would be to compete in European League Division A fixtures, where France have been drawn in a truly tremendous group alongside Germany and Spain. His first game as France manager would be in Stade de France on 2nd September where the Spaniards will come to contest the first fixture of the group. European Championship qualifiers would follow in 2023 and while Christian Schäfer is backed at 3/1 to become the next France manager, Slaven Bilic, Luis Enríque and Gérard Chapuis are all also in the running.
Would Christian Schäfer Be Tempted By The History And Traditions Of The Seleção?
On the other side of the globe, Brazil's poor World Cup performance has seen them drop to 7th in the FIFA World Rankings. Just like France, this was the second consecutive World Cup which saw them fall out in the Last 16. Chile drew the killer blow this year, while Russia defeated Seleção, as they are commonly referred to, four years ago. Certainly not impressive for a nation who have won the competition five times in their illustrious history.
Seleção boasts a squad bursting with talent. Defenders of the caliber of Fabinho (AS Monaco), Jorge (SL Benfica) and Hulk (FC Schalke 04), no not that Hulk, provide a strong backbone for the Samba Soccer-playing side. Their midfield is kept in place by Thiago Maia of FC Bayern München, Casemiro of Lazio, Oscar of Chelsea and Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool. However, it is in their attack where their prized possessions live. Paris Saint-Germain's Malcon and Lazio's Felipe Anderson make for worried defenders, but it is the nation's captain Neymar, now vice-captain of FC Barcelona, who holds a special place in the heart of Brazilians. Neymar comes second to only Cafú (142) when it comes to appearances for Brazil, playing 132 times. However, 90 goals puts him well clear of second place Pelé (77).
Should Der Professor move to sunny Brazil, his first game in charge would be in his native Germany where Brazil face Russia at the Allianz Arena on 31st August in an international friendly. On 8th October at "La Bombonera", Brazil will face Argentina in Superclásico de las Américas, an annual fixture which Argentina won last time out. The Copa América takes place next year, which would certainly be a very exciting competition for the German manager to take part in. He is currently at 3/2 to become the next Brazil manager, with Kaká, Thiago Silva and Júlio César also in the running.
Where will Christian Schäfer end up? Only time will tell.
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