Julian Nagelsmann takes advantage of a little-known football rule – loved by Jose Mourinho – to save Germany… but can you figure out the law he capitalised on to infuriate Austria?


Austrian media have accused Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann of telling goalkeeper Kevin Trapp to feign an injury during their match on Tuesday evening – using a little-known rule.

The two countries faced off in a friendly match in Vienna, with the hosts winning 2–0 thanks to goals from Marcel Sabitzer and Christoph Baumgartner. Leroy Sane also saw red for the Germans because of pushing Philipp Mwene.

However, the 36-year-old – who only took up the role in September – could be in even bigger trouble after being accused in the Austrian media of abusing a rule previously used by Jose Mourinho.

The incident occurred shortly after Sane received his marching orders in the 49th minute, with Nagelsmann requiring a tactical reshuffle.

In a clip of the incident, Nagelsmann appeared to shout in Trapp’s direction before holding the back of his leg and gesturing towards the ground. Shortly afterwards, Trapp, who was taking a goal kick, collapsed to the ground.

Julian Nagelsmann has been accused of telling goalkeeper Kevin Trapp to feign an injury

The alleged incident took place during Germany’s dismal 2-0 defeat by Austria in Vienna on Tuesday

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The little-known rule associated with Nagelsmann’s move is that goalkeepers are the only players who do not have to leave the field if interrupted by injury.

As Germany’s medical staff then ran onto the field to check Trapp in, Nagelsmann was seen speaking and relaying instructions to Thomas Müller.

A sheet of paper was also passed to Benjamin Henrichs and Kai Havertz, as the Arsenal playmaker played slightly further forward for the remainder of the match.

ORF, the Austrian broadcaster that showed the match, quickly noticed the alleged incident.

Herbert Prohaska – an 83-player Austrian international who worked as a pundit for the broadcaster – criticized Nagelsmann when he said: ‘This action is pathetic. This is weak for the whole of Germany. You just don’t do that. As a trainer you must be able to provide information in a short time.’

Commentator Thomas Konig added: ‘Please, that’s pathetic… I don’t do that as a German national team!’

Nagelsmann and Trapp declined to comment on the matter at the request of BILDalthough the goalkeeper told Austrian television that he was facing a problem at the time.

Nagelsmann was also criticized by German newspapers, as Heute wrote: ‘Unathletic Nagelsmann feigns injuries’.

It is particularly relevant that the incident took place in Austria, where Austria-Vienna boss Michael Wimmer was recently suspended for one match after ordering his goalkeeper Christian Fruchtl to feign an injury in a match against Rapid Vienna after his side had been reduced to nine men.

Tuesday’s result added yet more misery to Nagelsmann’s time with the national team, raising fears that the hosts of next summer’s Euro 2004 could be embarrassed at the tournament.

After the match, Nagelsmann admitted he still had a lot of work to do to turn his side around.

Before Trapp went down, the German boss could be seen trying to get his goalkeeper’s attention

Nagelsmann then held the back of his leg and gestured to the ground with his hands

When Trapp wanted to take a goal kick moments later, he collapsed to the ground and shouted for help

‘We don’t play freely. We have an incredible amount of work to do in every position,” the former Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim boss told German broadcaster ZDF.

‘We have to accept the situation, but we cannot fall into the role of victim.

‘We are a very well-functioning group in training, but that doesn’t come across on the field.

“We lack some self-confidence, and that’s no surprise considering the past few months.”


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