Nadiem Amiri on the verge of Germany debut, with Afghan support | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 08.10.2019
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Nadiem Amiri on the verge of Germany debut, with Afghan support

Nadiem Amiri has received his first call-up to the Germany squad. The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder has also drawn plenty of attention and support from the country of his parents, Afghanistan.

Bayer Leverkusen's Nadiem Amiri has received his first call-up to Germany's first team squad ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Argentina and the Euro 2020 qualifier in Estonia four days later. A dream come true for the 22-year-old midfielder.

Asked about whether he would consider representing Afghanistan, where his parents are from, Amiri recently said that his focus is solely on Germany.

"My dream is to represent the [German] national team, absolutely. I always do my best in the hope that one day coach Joachim Löw will give me a call. But if someday I realize there's absolutely zero chance that'll happen, I'll play for Afghanistan," Amiri told Eurosport last month.

Calling Löw himself

Now Amiri has been called up for Germany's senior squad, though one thing the Ludwigshaven-born midfielder did not receive is an actual phone call from Joachim Löw. On the contrary, Amiri called Löw.

The Germany coach did not have Amiri's number, so had to ask assistant Marcus Sorg to call the 22-year-old midfielder and ask him to ring Löw back. "I gave him a call straight after training,” Amiri said after Leverkusen's Bundesliga draw against RB Leipzig on Saturday.

Amiri’s senior call-up comes after representing Germany at all youth levels. The midfielder also won the under-21 Euros with Germany in 2017 and was a key part of the side that lost to Spain in the final this summer.

Joachim Löw (picture-alliance/dpa/P. Kneffel)

Germany coach Joachim Löw asked Amiri to call him back.

‘A justified call-up’

A tricky midfielder who isn't afraid to dribble and take risks, Amiri’s ability to find spaces in attack and use them creatively makes him a player who could provide a distinct set of skills for Löw as he continues to re-build the German national team.

After recovering from a foot fracture in the first half of last season, those traits saw the 22-year-old score three goals and assist two more in the run-in as Hoffenheim ultimately finished ninth, enough to earn him a €9m ($9.9m) move to Bayer Leverkusen.

"He has earned the call-up long ago,” said Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz, who hasn't hesitated in making Amiri a central part of his plans. The midfielder has started the last four games for the Werkself, repaying Bosz’s trust with two assists in the recent win over Augsburg.

Afghan football fans react

Amiri's call-up to the national team has not gone unnoticed in his parents' country of origin, Afghanistan, where reactions from football fans in the country have been largely positive.

"We have an international football player, but he plays for a different country," said one Twitter user, not alone in wishing Amiri all the best with Germany.

But there have also been more critical voices. "We are waiting for you. Germany has many footballers and they're all superstars, but for us he's needed,” one Twitter user lamented.

But Amiri's decision to represent Germany looks to be final as he seeks to make the most of the chance given to him, maybe even against Argentina in Dortmund on Wednesday.

"It’s what I’ve always dreamed of," Amiri said.

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