Hungary U21 - Germany U21

Europe: Euro U21
Hungary U21
MOL Aréna Sóstó (Székesfehérvár)0-3
Germany U21 L. Nmecha (61), R. Baku (66), R. Baku (73)

Kuntz names Arne Maier captain for Euro opener, leaves goalkeeping choice open

By Peter Vice

Stefan Kuntz and the German U21 squad landed in Hungary on Sunday evening and completed their first full team training session the very next day. 

Ahead of the first group stage game in the U21 European Championship against Hungary on Wednesday, head-coach named 22-year-old defensive midfielder Arne Maier his captain. 

Kuntz left the question of his starting goalkeeper open. 

Arne Maier.
Arne Maier.Photo: Hertha BSC/citypress

Hertha Berlin's Arne Maier, currently out on loan at Armina Bielefeld, will presumably don the captain's armband as the German U21s take to the pitch in Székesfehérvár on Wednesday evening. Kuntz opted to end speculation on his choice of captain early, though he declined to commit to a starting goalkeeper.

Maier featured earned only two starts for former Bielefeld trainer Uwe Neuhaus. Since Frank Kramer took the reins at the DSC, the 22-year-old has featured in the club's starting XI four times. It is rumored that Neuhaus' reticence in using Maier was one of the main reasons the club management opted to part company with its head-coach. 

"In general, we have a captain in Arne Maier," national team trainer said of the youngster who has already earned 45 caps at the German youth level, "but we also have a leadership circle within the team. If Arne doesn't play, someone else will do it." 

Kuntz remained tight-lipped about his potential choice as a #1 goalkeeper. His most experienced net minder, Lennart Grill of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, has had some issues in the Bundesliga in recent weeks. The lad assigned the #1 jersey, Markus Schubert of Eintracht Frankfurt, hasn't logged a single league minute this year. 

The Hungarian team is missing some preferred players due to injury and COVID-related absences. Kuntz nevertheless warned against underestimating the squad's first opponent. 

"In the first match, we have to concentrate completely on ourselves," Kuntz noted, "Regardless of who they put on the pitch, their mentality won't be such that we'll be allowed to cruise to three points.," 

The German U21s last won the European Championship in 2017. In the last edition of the competition (2019), Kuntz's team fell 1-2 to Spain in the final.

Hungary U21
12Balázs Bese
18Bendegúz Bolla (C)
4Botond Balogh
3Attila Mocsi
19László Deutsch
15Mihály Kata
8Szabolcs Mezei ↩78
6Martin Palincsar ↩60
16Norbert Szendrei
7Tamás Kiss ↩78
10Adrian Szöke ↩60
1Martin Auerbach
22Péter Kovács
9Bence Balazs Bíró ↪60
11Alen Skribek ↪78
17Donát Bárány
20Csaba Bukta
23Kovácsréti Márk ↪78
2Benedek Varju
5András Huszti
14Kristóf Hinora ↪60
21András Csonka
Germany U21
12Finn Dahmen
2Josha Vagnoman
5Amos Pieper
4Nico Schlotterbeck
3David Raum ↩67
6Niklas Dorsch ↩75
21Ridle Baku
8Arne Maier (C) ↩75
9Jonathan Burkardt ↩67
10Lukas Nmecha
11Mërgim Berisha ↩75
1Marcus Schubert
23Lennart Grill
7Youssoufa Moukoko
18Florian Krüger ↪67
14Stephan Ambrosius
15Ismail Jakobs ↪67
16Malick Thiaw
19Maxim Leitsch
13Salih Özcan ↪75
17Anton Stach
20Vitaly Janelt ↪75
22Mateo Klimowicz ↪75

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