The team without Pip fell 3-0, but that is about to change. Because the ball landed in the hand Howard. Because there was only one goalkeeper before Howard. Because he bent it with his own tenderness. Just as Howard scored the most important goal of his young life a week ago. But on Friday morning, during training for the national football team, he put the ball in the post.
That way is better than the other way. A week ago, in the Champions League final, Howard scored 1-0 for Chelsea in a similar situation. It was the only goal of the game, which is why the 21-year-old Guy Howards was born and raised in Aachen and the world shaped by football in Bayer Leverkusen was different.
“Hello, Champion.” This is what welcomed him to the German national team’s press conference in Seifield on Friday afternoon. The day before he arrived at training camp with his team-mates Timo Werner and Ilke Gundogan from the losing Champions League finalists Manchester City, after realizing it was the best week of his life. During the first two or three days of the final, Howard often heard the word champion, “but sometimes it stops.”
The competition is fantastic
With the national team he is now moving from one champion to many champions, in a sense equal to peers. But is it really him? Howard has long been regarded as an extraordinary talent. He was already playing in the Bundesliga at the age of 17, he made his debut for the national team in September 2018 at just 19, and in theory he could play for the German U21 in the European Championship final against Portugal on Sunday. But Howards has been more than this team for a long time.
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Howard’s football age was always earlier than his biological age. In previous years, there was never a lack of appreciation for the givers. Bayer Leverkusen’s sports director Rudy Wuller once described Howard as a combination of Mesut Ozil and Michael Ballack: from – Özil – he has flexibility and circularity, to another – ballock – headphone strength and target risk. The national coach also praised him, testifying to him as “incredible sporting intelligence and a crazy silence on the ball”. Whether the future belongs to Howards on the national team has not been a question for a long time. Question: When does this future really begin?
Howard has made 13 international appearances since his debut. This is an extraordinary number that gives him the ability – something unusually low. But it has to do with the elegant offer that national coach Lowe gets to midfield. With the return of Thomas Mல்லller, the competition situation has even intensified.
The advantage of Howard is that, like Mueller, he is not only centered on the surface, but can be used in a variety of positions. In the Champions League final, he played for Chelsea in disguise as a right-winger, and during his time at Leverkusen he had to help more often than the wrong nine. It could also be a variation on the European Championship as there are no strikers on the national team.
Arrived at Chelsea just in time
Another advantage of Guy Howard is that he came to Tyrol with a lot of new self-confidence. “I want to be a regular. This is very clear. But you can’t put your own ego above the team, ”he says of his ambitions at EM. The Champions League victory, the biggest title in European club football he has given to his team, has allowed Howard to grow further. “It definitely gives you confidence,” he says. “You don’t have to talk about it. For me personally it was a very important goal. I need self-confidence, and then I play better. “
In the Champions League he reveals everything about Porto’s final goal in the first place. A year ago, Chelsea paid Bayer Leverkusen 80 million euros for Havers. The young German did not always live up to the relevant expectations. “It was a big change for me and it took a long time,” he says of his move to London.
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Of the 27 matches he has played in the Premier League, Howard has finished just eight of the full distance. Scored four goals in his first season for Chelsea; In the previous two seasons it was twelve and seventeen for Leverkusen. “But in the end it was still a great year,” Howard says. “No one sees negative things anymore, only towards the goal.”
The songs of praise sung to him have certainly come a little louder. Guy Howard told the German press after the final that the thug “could be a complete world-class player.” It happens to him very quickly. “I’m still 21 years old,” he says. “There’s still not much to be world-class.” But things are moving forward. Guy Howards will be 22 next week.