As national coach for the European Football Championship in 2024, Hansi Flick needs a new team doctor.
Tim Meyer (55) is retiring from the DFB team after 21 years after the World Cup in Qatar.
“At some point you get to an age where you can imagine doing other things than sprinting to the edge of the field and handing the water bottle to footballers,” the 55-year-old explains his decision in an interview with the German Press Agency.
He had informed national coach Flick of this immediately after the national team had lost the World Cup on the way back from Qatar.
In retrospect, Meyer, Medical Director of the Institute for Sports and Preventive Medicine at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, describes the corona pandemic as the “most stressful” and at the same time “most annoying time”.
"There was a lot of pressure there.
Suddenly players showed up who tested positive upon arrival or a few days later.
And as a doctor you are right in the middle of a huge hustle and bustle of swabs and contact avoidance.
You get a feeling of helplessness from time to time," he says: "Despite all the precautionary measures, I thought in the team hotel: hopefully nobody will wake up in the morning and start coughing."
Praise for Löw, "break" under Klinsmann
However, Meyer can look back on mostly good experiences, such as the home World Cup in 2006, which he found very emotional.
But the World Cup in Brazil is top of the list for him, “particularly because we won it”.
At no tournament before or after was he as involved as a doctor in the preparation as in 2014.
Meyer experienced four national coaches during his tenure - from Rudi Völler to Jürgen Klinsmann and Joachim Löw to Flick.
“Of course, these coaches were very different personalities,” he says.
Long-term national coach Löw he learned to “uncannily appreciate.
The confidence he gave was brilliant to work with.
Jogi really had a steady hand and was able to delegate.”
Klinsmann's arrival after the EM preliminary round in 2004 meant "a real break in the management of the national team".
“He pushed a lot, pushed for fundamental changes.
Jürgen has launched many innovations, but also triggered various conflicts due to overlapping competencies that may not always have been intended.”
But what changed the most overall was the players.
The generation that grew up in the youth academies of the Bundesliga have "learned a completely different lifestyle that is much more sport-oriented than in the past," remarked the retiring team doctor.