Former Germany defender Jerome Boateng has laughed off criticism of the national team ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, joking there are "80 million national coaches".

Germany's 3-3 Nations League draw with England on Monday meant they finished third in Group A3, having won just one of their six matches.

Their shaky recent performances and failure to reach the Nations League's final four have led to questions being asked of manager Hansi Flick.

But Boateng, who played 76 times for Germany between 2009 and 2018, believes fans should reserve judgement of the team until the World Cup is over.

"Shortly before the World Cup we have 80 million national coaches again," Boateng wrote in an Instagram story, alongside a laughing emoji.

"We have a strong team, we can beat any opponent and become world champions. We have young players in all positions.

"How about approaching the World Cup in a positive way and not criticising the team and bringing in unrest?

"Stay positive and support the team together. After the World Cup you can add your two cents again."

Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka are back in training with Bayern Munich after the pair were forced to withdraw from Germany duty with COVID-19.

The duo were named in Hansi Flick's squad for the final two Nations League group games against Hungary and England, but were ruled out after testing positive for coronavirus.

However, Bayern goalkeeper Neuer and midfielder Goretzka were back on the training field on Tuesday. 

Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs de Ligt, Ryan Gravenberch, Marcel Sabitzer and Josip Stanisic have all also returned to the fold for Julian Nagelsmann's side.

In Neuer and Goretzka's absence, Germany slipped to their first defeat since Flick took charge with a 1-0 loss to Hungary, before playing out a 3-3 draw with England at Wembley on Monday.

Champions Bayern will go in pursuit of a first Bundesliga win in five games when they resume domestic action against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday.

England captain Harry Kane was "proud" of Harry Maguire for playing through injury towards the end of Monday's draw with Germany despite it being a nightmare match for the defender.

Centre-back Maguire has become a much-maligned figure at Manchester United, with his performances routinely called into question over the past 12 months or so.

That ultimately led to him being dropped by new manager Erik ten Hag in August after United lost their first two games of the new Premier League season – he has not started since in the top flight and the Red Devils have won four matches on the bounce.

England manager Gareth Southgate backed Maguire at the start of this international window, suggesting he would stake his reputation on the defender's selection before starting him in both Nations League games despite previous vows to pick players on form.

Serie A-winning Milan defender Fikayo Tomori was left out of the squad entirely on Monday while Maguire went on to endure a nightmare, with his individual errors contributing to England finding themselves 2-0 down.

England remarkably fought back to go 3-2 up with three goals in 12 minutes before Kai Havertz's second rescued a point for Germany, and while the focus was already on Maguire – who was later spotted limping through the mixed zone – Kane praised his character.

"Any individual mistake, you're going to be gutted. But we are a team, we will get behind each other," Kane said.

"They [Maguire and goalkeeper Nick Pope] will learn from [their errors] and they'll move on. They have been great for us every time they put the shirt on.

"H [Maguire] had a pretty decent injury there at the end, where he played another five, 10 minutes, on almost one leg.

"Great character from him [to keep playing], I'm really proud of him for that."

After the match, Maguire said sorry to supporters on Instagram following his errors.

The first was a poor pass out from the back that was intercepted by Jamal Musiala, whom he then clumsily fouled in the area. Ilkay Gundogan scored the penalty.

For the second goal, Maguire was robbed of possession – again, Musiala was his nemesis here – up the pitch and Germany sprung a rapid counter-attack that was rounded off by a gorgeous Havertz finish.

"Mistakes are part of the game, I apologise," Maguire wrote.

"Great fightback and spirit to get us back into the game by the lads. Take the positives and look forward to Qatar. The tough times will make us stronger."

Hansi Flick warned his Germany side individual errors will be "deadly" at the World Cup after an entertaining back-and-forth Nations League encounter against England at Wembley.

The visitors led by two goals after Ilkay Gundogan's penalty and Kai Havertz's expert long-range finish punished the Three Lions.

However, three goals in the space of 12 minutes from Luke Shaw, Mason Mount and Harry Kane had already-relegated England in front with seven minutes to play.

An error from goalkeeper Nick Pope allowed Havertz to make it 3-3 late on, but head coach Flick acknowledged Germany must be better at protecting a lead in Qatar.

"The result is very disappointing. I think we were very stable after 2-0 and we made individual mistakes, and you have to say that England brought in two fresh players who then also played a part in making England more effective offensively," Flick said.

"We made individual mistakes and that's why it's disappointing. 

"You have to look at the whole game and I think we did many things well, really well. In a phase where we got the three goals, that shouldn't happen to us, because especially at a World Cup, things like that are of course deadly and you're eliminated faster than you think. 

"Therefore, if you look at it positively, you simply have to say that we know what we can work on. 

"We'll analyse the game properly again because, of course, at first glance, I've seen the goals conceded, just once or twice now, and that's partly individual, where we sometimes made the mistakes. And everyone has to do their job over 90 minutes and we have to work on that."

Flick, though, was effusive in his praise of Bayern Munich star Jamal Musiala, who was a constant thorn in England's side and drew the foul from Harry Maguire for Germany's opener from the spot.

"Jamal just showed why he is an exceptional talent. He got us the second goal from in his own half and he's both defensive and offensive, I think he's a player that's good for us," Flick added.

"And simply by his dribbling ability, he can pull out situations like penalties, but of course also he can move opponents around, one or two players are out of position and then it's a different situation. 

"Then we have more room, more space and those are the things that are good for us."

There were mixed feelings from the German camp after Monday's dramatic 3-3 draw against England in the UEFA Nations League, with manager Hansi Flick calling it "a good test".

Germany led 2-0 after a 52nd minute penalty from Ilkay Gundogan and a goal from Kai Havertz in the 67th, but that advantage was wiped out in just over 15 minutes.

Luke Shaw struck in the 72nd, Mason Mount equalised three minutes later, and a penalty to Harry Kane put the English up 3-2 in the 83rd.

Ultimately, an 87th-minute leveller from Havertz saw the two sides share the points, and it gave Flick some mixed emotions.

"The first half was balanced, in the second we deservedly led 2-0 – then we made individual mistakes," he said. "It must not happen that we give up a lead like that. 

"But we came back, that's the positive. It was a good test, we take a lot of positive things with us, but also negative things. There's some work for us to do, but we're optimistic, otherwise we could stay at home."

Midfielder Joshua Kimmich provided a little more insight into exactly what went wrong to allow such a rapid collapse.

"We had everything under control and deservedly led 2-0 – then we became far too passive," he said. "No longer pushing through consistently, defending far too deep, no longer having the courage to play against the ball… but in terms of body language and engagement, it was an improvement.

"Everyone now has six weeks to get a good feeling and then we will attack."

After scoring two goals, Havertz said to only get a draw from a match like that "must of course worry you" but suggested that it "was another good game to learn from".

Meanwhile, Gundogan was not afraid to talk about Germany's lofty goals, saying they are heading to Qatar with the plan of making the final.

"It's not unrealistic," he said. "Of course, a lot has to come together. I don't see a team that is miles ahead.

"We have shown over long periods that we can do it at the highest level. We have to try to do that for 90 minutes. At a World Cup you have much less leeway to make mistakes than today."

Gareth Southgate hailed the "tremendous spirit" demonstrated by England, who he feels have come together and grown following their entertaining Nations League draw with Germany.

The Three Lions head coach has come under pressure recently following a difficult spell of form that culminated in relegation from League A after defeat by Italy on Friday.

Indeed, England have now gone six matches without a win for the first time since 1993. But they showed brilliant character against Germany on Monday, recovering from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 at Wembley, before Kai Havertz denied them victory.

And Southgate is confident the sticky patch will benefit his players as all eyes turn towards the World Cup, which sees the 1966 winners face Iran in their Group B opener on November 21.

"As a group, they have really come together this week," he told Channel 4. "It has been a tough period for team, but they have grown.

"To an extent, we are always going to face pressure, so we need to be exposed to pressure. We played a friendly against the Ivory Coast in March and they went down to 10 men, and it became a non-event and we learnt nothing.

"This week, we've learnt a huge amount. They've had to step forward and come together. It will benefit us in the long run.

"In the end, a couple of errors have cost us the goals, but I'll focus on the fact they played with tremendous spirit and showed a belief that we haven't shown in the last few games. I thought the crowd saw that and rose to that."

Meanwhile, captain Harry Kane insisted there were plenty of positives for he and his team-mates to build on heading into Qatar.

The Tottenham forward marked his 50th start as England captain – becoming the fifth player to achieve the feat – with his 51st international goal, which moves him two away from equalling Wayne Rooney's all-time Three Lions record.

"The mentality and fight of the team was shown out there today. We didn't get the win, but we can be proud of what we did," Kane said.

"The boys have been under pressure with recent results and we all came out here with a point to prove. But there are lessons; we can still learn from the mistakes we made, but we scored three goals and I feel like this will put us in a positive mindset ahead of the World Cup.

"We've upped our game as we've gone along in the last two major tournaments. We dust ourselves down. We know we have to improve but there isn't that much time now with England before that first game [against Iran].

"But we'll go away with our clubs and hopefully everyone goes away fit, strong and is ready to come back in November."

Kai Havertz's late equaliser denied England a stunning comeback victory as Germany concluded their Nations League campaign with an entertaining 3-3 draw at Wembley.

After a goalless first half, Ilkay Gundogan broke the deadlock from the penalty spot, before Havertz doubled the lead with a stunning 25-yard effort.

But the Three Lions turned the contest on its head with three goals in the space of 12 minutes. Luke Shaw and substitute Mason Mount dragged the hosts level, before Harry Kane's penalty completed the turnaround.

However, Germany ensured a share of the spoils with three minutes remaining when Havertz tucked home from close range following a goalkeeping error from Nick Pope.

Gareth Southgate has left Trent Alexander-Arnold out of his England squad for Monday's Nations League dead rubber against Germany, citing a need to pick players he believes in.

England have already been relegated from League A after failing to win any of their five matches, which have also only yielded a single goal.

The Three Lions' form has been especially alarming given the World Cup starts in less than two months, with the Germany game essentially their final warm-up match.

With very little riding on the match at Wembley, it was assumed Southgate might take the chance to give opportunities to those who have been used sparingly.

But Southgate has instead given an indication as to who he does not appear to have complete faith in, with Alexander-Arnold – an unused substitute during Friday's defeat to Italy – among those left out.

Fikayo Tomori, James Ward-Prowse and Jarrod Bowen are reportedly the others set to miss out, while Jack Grealish is suspended.

This exclusion is just the latest blow for Alexander-Arnold at international level, with the right-back seemingly underused considering his importance for Liverpool.

"Of course, he does have a fantastic range of passing, we're blessed with different profiles of player in that position," Southgate told reporters when discussing Alexander-Arnold's irregularity for England.

"If we play with wing-backs, [Kieran] Trippier and Reece James are also exceptional with the ball, in different ways, and we're always having to look at the full package with everything and assess the players on all of their attributes.

"They've all been to Champions League finals, some of them have been to latter stages of major tournaments with us, Trent's won the league, Trippier's won the Spanish league, [Kyle] Walker's won the English league; there are so many good attributes about them.

"It's a really difficult position to make decisions on, but we have to go with the ones we believe [in], and ultimately I'll be judged on the outcome, as we know."

For Southgate, it is not simply a matter of putting Alexander-Arnold in the team and telling him to play his natural game; he operates in a certain way for Liverpool because Jurgen Klopp's system allows him to thrive, and England have not yet managed to find such a solution.

"You can have a style of play and a way of playing, and a balance to the team, that... at Liverpool they find a way of playing that brings the best out of his attributes," said Southgate.

"And that’s what we're all trying to do with every team, you're trying to build a team that accentuates the positives, and within the group protects yourselves against how the opponents might come from you."

Gareth Southgate says the negativity aimed his way "is not healthy" for England's players as he urged supporters to get behind their side in Monday's clash with Germany.

England are winless in five matches – their worst such run since June 2014 – ahead of taking on historic rivals Germany at a sold-out Wembley in their final Nations League tie.

The Three Lions were relegated from Group A3 after Friday's 1-0 loss to Italy, which followed a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Hungary in their most recent home game.

Southgate was booed after both of those defeats, with fans also heard chanting "You don't know what you're doing" during the contest against Italy at San Siro.

But ahead of England's first game at Wembley since March, in what is their last outing before the World Cup, Southgate hopes his players are backed by those inside the ground. 

"We've got 90,000 people – the stadium is sold out – so people want to come and see this team play," he said at Sunday's pre-match press conference.

"That's because the players have done an unbelievable job for six years. 

"We were on the back of a difficult time in terms of the relationship with the fans at the start of that journey and slowly we've built with the finishes that we've already discussed.

"It is not healthy for the team to be having this noise around them. I fully understand that. But it is for me to take responsibility, it is for me to allow them to go and play. 

"I want them to feel freedom. They know we always talk about that around the training ground, on the training pitch, and I would urge the supporters to get behind the team.

"How they deal with me at the end or whenever, on the phone-ins or wherever else is completely different. 

"But this is their last chance to see the boys before they go to a World Cup and we are all in it together. We can only succeed if we're all pushing in the same direction.

"What happens to me is irrelevant, frankly. It is about the team. The most important thing is the team and the success of the team."

Across his six years in charge, Southgate has guided England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final, as well as reaching the Nations League Finals in 2019.

England have won just two of their seven matches this year, however, with both of those coming in friendlies, and have failed to score from open play in more than eight hours.

Indeed, the Three Lions are one of only two nations yet to score a single non-penalty goal in the 2022-23 Nations League alongside minnows San Marino.

Asked how he is coping with the recent criticism, Southgate said: "You're not going to have six years as we've had without a spell where you are going to have some tough results.

"You've got to show resilience to come through those moments. I'm not the first coach to go through a difficult time in terms of results and criticism. 

"This is part of the territory – for me, it's a great challenge to lead the team through a moment like this.

"The results haven't been at the level we want or require. So, no matter what job you have in football, that would be the case. 

"Of course, with the national team, that noise is going to be louder and more widespread, I understand that."

Jamal Musiala has no regrets and is "very happy" with his decision to represent Germany over England ahead of Monday's Nations League clash at Wembley.

Born in Stuttgart, Musiala spent a significant part of his childhood in England and was with Chelsea from 2011 until 2019, while he also captained the Three Lions at youth level.

However, he returned to Germany in 2019 to join Bayern Munich and elected to represent Hansi Flick's side last year.

Musiala will now face off against the side he could have represented on Monday and made it clear he has no regrets about the decision on his international allegiance.

"I feel good to be here in England. I am very motivated. England are a very strong team and my past makes me want to play even more," he said.

"I don't know exactly how many times I've played at Wembley. I've been to school tournaments here before and made it to a final there twice. The atmosphere at Wembley is always great.

"It wasn't an easy decision and I thought about it for a long time. In the end it was a decision I made with my family and I'm very happy with. Some England fans are definitely not happy with my decision but that shows that I play well."

Flick has confirmed Musiala will start for Germany in their Nations League dead rubber at Wembley and heaped praise upon the 19-year-old.

"When he trained for the first time, you immediately noticed what a talent he is. His development is fantastic," he declared.

"He can hold his own well in a small space and has a strong feeling for the space. He is also very strong at dribbling, which is why he can solve situations for us.

"In addition, he is very skilled defensively and has many ball wins. I'm glad he's playing for Germany."

Raheem Sterling says England have shown what Gareth Southgate brings to them and insists it is not "time to panic" following their UEFA Nations League relegation.

The Three Lions were condemned to bottom spot in Group A3 after a 1-0 loss to Italy on Friday, marking their fifth consecutive match without a win, their worst competitive run since 1992.

With the World Cup in Qatar looming, expectations for another successful tournament run following a semi-final appearance at Russia 2018 and finishing runners-up at Euro 2020 look to have plummeted for Southgate's side.

Despite his achievements, form under the 52-year-old has come under increasing criticism, but, speaking ahead of Monday's dead rubber with Germany, Sterling has defended his efforts and says he remains the right man.

"[We've made it to] a semi-final and a final," he stated. "We should be trying to put positive messages out there to try and spur the boys on again. With the performances, I get why we're not thinking like this at the minute.

"But I don't think it is time to panic. We've shown over the last couple of years what [Southgate] brings to this team. He's someone that all the boys trust and someone that we want to follow in his direction.

"I don't think these last games change that narrative. I think the narrative needs to be can we go that one step ahead and how we can do it - to try and build positives."

Sterling acknowledged performances have been below par as of late, with England struggling to find a satisfactory formation to prevent defensive fragilities, but remained adamant they can turn the corner.

"In football, there's ups and downs," he said. "I think over the last couple of years, we've been in good form. The game tomorrow is a great opportunity to go out there and take a step in the right direction."

Bayern Munich's honorary president Uli Hoeness has hit out at criticism of the World Cup being staged in Qatar.

Conditions for migrant workers are among the human rights issues that have been in the spotlight long before the tournament starts in November.

Hoeness is insistent that workers are "better and not worse off" with the country hosting the World Cup, however, and argues things are getting better in the nation compared to other Gulf states.

"The World Cup will lead to better working conditions for the people," he told Sport1.

"One thing is also clear, the workers in Qatar are better and not worse off through the World Cup. You should finally accept that and not constantly hit out at people on it.

"When the problem was in Afghanistan, the people were only flown out via Qatar. The World Cup, the commitment of Bayern and other sports activities in the Gulf region will lead to better working conditions for the people there.

"I have never heard criticism of Dubai, Kuwait etc. Only Qatar is being talked about. The only country where things are really getting better because this discussion is taking place is Qatar."

Bayern's own links with Qatar have been a source of frustration for many fans, leading to a hostile atmosphere in the team's AGM in November.

The Bundesliga champions signed a five-year sponsorship with Qatar Airways in 2018 and have often travelled to the nation for training during their winter break.

Germany boss Hansi Flick says he must take responsibility for his side's Nations League defeat to Hungary, after suffering the first loss of his tenure.

Adam Szalai's outrageous first-half flick was the only goal of a 1-0 loss in Leipzig, as the hosts failed to turn almost three-quarters of possession into a response on the scoreboard in Group A3.

It condemned Germany to a first loss against Hungary since 2004, with Flick's side often looking uncomfortably despite their control, with Jonas Hofmann dropped to right-back instead of his traditional midfield role.

Speaking afterwards, the former Bayern Munich boss admitted he has gambled incorrectly, though England's loss to Italy means they are safe from relegation, excusing further blushes.

"We wanted to try something with Jonas in the right-back position," he told ZDF. "I have to take responsibility for that. We never got where we wanted to use [our full-backs]. That's didn't work."

Addressing a media conference shortly afterwards, Flick added his side would not be disorientated by the result with the Qatar 2022 World Cup looming however, adding: "This defeat will not throw us off track.

"We know what is required of us now and this has opened our eyes a bit. It’s better to lose now rather than at the World Cup.

"Our first half was really poor. We didn’t do enough, played without confidence and made too many basic errors. It was a lot better after the break, though we failed to create enough chances."

Hofmann concurred with Flick's assessment, and vowed to not let a first loss since last year's last16 exit at Euro 2020 to England throw them off-balance.

"Tonight just wasn’t good enough," he added. "This defeat will not be the end of the world for us, of course it’s frustrating tonight, but we won’t let it get us down."

Germany will return to the scene of their last loss when they face England - already relegated to the B tier of the Nations League after a miserable post-Euros campaign - at Wembley Stadium on September 26.

Adam Szalai's sublime finish kept Hungary on course for the Nations League Finals as they beat Germany 1-0 in Leipzig.

Captain Szalai struck almost midway through the first half on Friday to give his side an impressive victory that keeps them two points clear at the top of Group A3.

Marco Rossi's side will qualify for next year's Finals if they avoid defeat at home to Italy on Monday, with the European champions having beaten England 1-0 at San Siro.

It was another memorable evening for Hungary at the Red Bull Arena, while Hansi Flick will be left to rue a night to forget with the World Cup looming.

From the first whistle, Hungary showed a proactive intent, tackling their hosts head-on with great intensity, and their approach was rewarded when Germany were caught napping from a corner 17 minutes in.

Few appeared to expect Szalai's to attack the near the edge of the six-yard box, and the forward's delightful flick to convert Dominik Szoboszlai’s delivery sailed beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen's grasp and into the far corner of the net for a worthy lead.

Germany thought they had equalised through Thomas Muller's strike shortly after the restart, but the goal was ruled out as Jonas Hoffman was offside. 

That was as close as Flick's side came to salvaging a point as Hungary held on to keep their fate in their own hands heading into a decisive final group game.

Germany boss Hansi Flick has told his players to be cautious about socialising ahead of the World Cup to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and missing games.

Midfielder Leon Goretzka and captain Manuel Neuer have been ruled out of the Nations League games against Hungary and England after testing positive.

Those results followed their visit, as members of the Bayern Munich squad, to Oktoberfest celebrations last weekend.

It is unclear whether that was where the players caught the coronavirus, but social occasions give Flick cause for concern, albeit he is adamant that "life should also go on".

The Qatar 2022 World Cup is coming up in November and December, and Flick wants everyone available.

"This can also affect us in Qatar," said Flick. "We have to react to it and deal with the situation as best we can.

"It's not quite as easy as [saying] you should behave. We in the coaching team are also on the road a lot. Such cases are always annoying, but it's also become a normal situation.

"With a normal flu you also miss out. Covid is of course a bit more aggressive. Of course you have to reduce your contacts a little before the World Cup and consider, should I go there or not.

"You're on the road a lot. Life should also go on. We have to see that we keep it under control. But a certain normality with common sense, I think, is the right way."

Germany play Hungary on Friday and England on Monday, and Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen will get a chance to impress in the Hungary game in the absence of Neuer.

"I don't need to keep a secret about the goalkeeper position, Marc will be in goal," Flick said in Thursday's press conference.

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