‘He stands out’ – Germany hero Matthaus names Austria man his Euro 2024 star

Harry De Cosemo
Austria midfielder Marcel Sabitzer celebrates his goal with his team-mates
Marcel Sabitzer celebrates his goal with his team-mates

Germany legend Lothar Matthaus has lauded former Manchester United midfielder Marcel Sabitzer as is player of the tournament at Euro 2024.

Sabitzer, 30, has helped Austria impress at the championships this summer, as they topped Group D ahead of France and the Netherlands to set up a round of 16 tie against Turkey.

The midfielder spent the last campaign at Borussia Dortmund, helping the club reach the Champions League final, where they were ultimately beaten by Real Madrid at Wembley.

Sabizer the Euros’ best player – Matthaus

He won the Carabao Cup on loan at Manchester United in 2022-23.

Now Matthaus, winner of the World Cup in 1990, says Sabitzer has impressed him under another former United man, manager Ralf Rangnick.

“My player of the tournament so far is Marcel Sabitzer,’ Matthaus wrote in his column for German outlet Sport.

“I saw him live in Berlin during Austria’s 3-2 win over Holland.

“His speed, his lightness, his finesse, the way he uses his teammates, the way he works in the back, the speed with which he plays forward – I’ve hardly seen him like this in Dortmund.

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“Sabitzer stands out in this impressive Austrian team. They finished ahead of France and the Netherlands and weren’t the worst team in the 1-0 defeat to France. This team does and executes what the Dutch and French do not: Speed on and off the ball. This is Ralf Rangnick’s style.

“What is striking is that even the players from the Austrian league, who have little international experience, are convincing. That’s fun.”

Matthaus was also complimentary of Kai Havertz, who has also helped hosts Germany reach the last 16 where they face Denmark on Saturday, believing the Arsenal man doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

“Havertz is also underestimated,’ Matthaus wrote.

“He hasn’t shone as much as Fullkrug because he hasn’t scored any goals yet. But he’s a combination player who creates a lot of space for his teammates, into which Musiala can then move. So there’s a cross block that’s tailored to Fullkrug, which makes the game much wider. And there’s a combination block with Havertz and the youngsters Wirtz and Musiala, which makes the game fast.

“The supposed striker debate is also not an issue for me. Füllkrug can come in as a joker at any time. That has worked well so far.

“Havertz has not done anything wrong. He is not a waste of opportunities who would not work for the team. I see no reason to change anything anywhere.

“If you have to change the central defence, it might be a bit much to change up front too. I think Julian Nagelsmann sees it the same way.”

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