Watch out for the striker without a tooth: Niclas Füllkrug must score goals for Germany

Niclas Füllkrug seems to have grown into Germany’s first striker at the age of thirty. — © REUTERS

He has his own song for a reason. Niclas Füllkrug – man without a mouth full of teeth – claims the role of Germany’s first striker at the age of thirty. The Belgians realize the danger: “He is a real killer.”

Pieter-Jan Calcoen

Those who surf to the ZDF website can do it these days The jug song listen. Including the following complimenting sentences: Finally a real nine (finally a real nine) and Our best tiger hunter (our best goalscoring machine).

The Red Devils are also wary of Werder Bremen striker Niclas Füllkrug, top scorer of the Bundesliga with fifteen goals and twice accurate in Germany’s 2-0 win against Peru. “I know him from Germany,” says Sebastiaan Bornauw. “He’s a killer in the sixteen.”

“He is a killer in the box,” said Sebastiaan Bornauw about Niclas Füllkrug. — © Getty Images

This is evident in the German national team. Against Peru, Füllkrug scored his fourth and fifth goal in five international matches – equaling Sandro Wagner’s record from 2017. It was only the first starting place for Füllkrug, but he therefore thanked Hansi Flick for the confidence. The national coach was afterwards full of praise for his attacker. “Niclas is special, full of self-confidence and gives his teammates a good energy”, it sounded, among other things. And if there is anything the Germans could use after that disappointing World Cup…

Toni Kroos already compared Füllkrug with Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez – not the most stylish attackers, but guys who always score everywhere. That is also called the greatest strength of Füllkrug. It just took a while before that quality was visible.

Only last season did Füllkrug really explode, and that in the second Bundesliga. Then he had a large share in the promotion with nineteen hits, so now he confirms at the highest level. However, he came to the surface much earlier – he still played alongside De Bruyne at Bremen -, but after several injuries he had to drop back to Nürnberg and Hanover. It was there that Werder picked him up again and that transfer was therefore a direct hit: Füllkrug is a crowd favorite.

Bare-chested among the fans

Fair is fair: that is more a result of his image than of his performance. Füllkrug is a man of the people – he has already stood bare-chested among the supporters and likes a beer now and then. But not only in terms of deeds, also in terms of looks, Füllkrug looks nothing like a slick and well-paid professional football player. His nickname is gap, German for ‘hole’, because he is missing a tooth in the front of his teeth. When the player was little, the doctors deliberately made room for an implant, but he never had that treatment completed. “Simply because people were positive about me staying authentic.”

Against Peru, Füllkrug scored his fourth and fifth goal in five international matches. — © REUTERS

The question is gradually arising whether Füllkrug will become the first choice in the front of Germany. The fans would like to see it happen, analysts are also fond of the idea. “Hansi is not blind. He also knows that this Füllkrug would be a smart choice,” says Lothar Matthäus.

In any case, Füllkrug is expected to kick off against Belgium. Domenico Tedesco – a coach who knows the Bundesliga like the back of his hand – realizes the danger. Five goals in five international matches should not become six (or more) in six. But to avoid that, the Belgians will have to step up their game.

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