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Füllkrug gets involved in ZDF debate

Last week, the ZDF European Championship team discussed the term player material. Now DFB striker Niclas Füllkrug has joined the discussion.

DFB joker Niclas Füllkrug humorously intervened in the TV debate with ZDF presenter Jochen Breyer about the term “player material”. After Breyer recently reprimanded world champions Per Mertesacker and Christoph Kramer for using the word in the live broadcast, Füllkrug now asked the broadcaster to show a statement from him after the European Championship group match against Switzerland.

Regarding the personnel concerns in defense, the striker said with a deliberate turn of his head to the camera: “It's bitter, but I'm not worried about that either, because we have really good players.”

With a grin, Füllkrug then added: “Best wishes to Per Mertesacker and Christoph Kramer.” Moderator Breyer laughingly explained on Monday evening that he had been in contact with Füllkrug via Instagram. The striker had wanted the interview excerpt to be shown in the evening on the ZDF broadcast before the Croatia vs. Italy match.

Mertesacker said of Füllkrug's action: “I like Füllkrug not only because he's from Hanover and came to my farewell game, but also because we can always play nice one-twos verbally and that he takes part in our discussions.” Kramer also made a brief comment on the Dortmund attacker. “He also has taste in TV shows, good man, good material,” said Kramer.

This was preceded by a debate on the internet. The previous week, Breyer had said to the two TV experts: “Player material – because you both use the term often. I know that some fans at home are critical of that, because people are not material. Maybe in the future we'll just say squad or player potential.”

Viewers then discussed on social media whether Breyer's intervention was justified. In 2000, a jury of six linguists chose the similar word “human material” as the bad word of the 20th century because, in their view, it represented a tendency to “judge people only according to their 'material value'”.

After the scene with Füllkrug, Breyer said that there are people who are offended by the term player material, but that many are not. “It is very important to note that the players, who are the ones we are talking about, are not offended by it,” added the TV journalist.

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