Youssoufa Moukoko: “Being here at the World Cup at 17 is something special.”

After completing Germany’s first training session at their Qatar base, 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko discussed representing Die Mannschaft, his role model and taking part in his first World Cup.

“Here you can gain experience,” said Moukoko in a press conference. “I’m here to learn too. It’s good to get tips. The 26 best players from Germany are here, I can learn a lot.

“Being here at the World Cup at 17 is something special. I was received and integrated very well and we’re looking forward to starting soon.”

Moukoko named his role model as Miroslav Klose, someone who “scored a lot of goals.” With 71 goals in 137 appearances for the national team, the former Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich striker is Germany’s top scorer ahead of Gerd Müller (68), Lukas Podolski (49) and Rudi Völler (47). With goals against Ghana and Brazil at the 2014 World Cup, Klose (16) also became the World Cup’s leading scorer, ahead of Ronaldo (15).

Injuries prevented Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) and Lukas Nmecha (Wolfsburg) a place in Germany’s 26-man World Cup squad and so Hansi Flick called-up Niclas Füllkrug (29), the highest scoring German in Europe this season, and Moukoko (17). Both players were given their debut against Oman.

Flick could already have a selection headache heading into their opening Group E game against Japan. Füllkrug missed today’s training session with flu symptoms. With Germany’s game not until Wednesday, it may give the No. 9 ample time to recover.

GGFN | Daniel Pinder

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