There is a lot you can talk about with Jamal Musiala right now, and the “right now” part is relevant, because this is the time to be doing the talking.

Seeing a player burst his way to stardom during a major tournament is one of soccer’s most enjoyable treats, and as Euro 2024 sets a ferociously high standard in terms of entertainment, the Germany winger is showing emphatically that this is his time to shine.

Best player of the tournament so far? 

With every team to complete its second game of the group stage on Saturday, who else?

Musiala’s two goals have been crucial to Germany’s pair of comfortable wins in climbing to the top of Group A, but the sparkle in his play, his dazzling feet and fearless runs, is what truly catches the eyes and lifts the soul.

Ahead of Germany’s Sunday clash with Switzerland in Frankfurt (3 p.m. ET on FOX) he is a topic of hot conversation. And, because of the nature of international soccer and how money follows trends, it also makes him a hot commodity.

English Premier League side Liverpool, according to multiple reports, is busy figuring out what kind of package of cash-plus-players would be needed to pry him away from Bayern Munich.

The price might have just gone up.

Germany head coach Julian Nagelsmann likes talking about the freedom in Musiala’s game. And as the joint leader of the Golden Boot race with Slovakia‘s Ivan Schranz, Musiala is seemingly unaffected by pressure or conformity, and is having the time of his life with the ball at his feet.

That hasn’t just happened by accident. Nagelsmann worked as much on his 21-year-old star’s mental approach in the buildup to the tournament as he did on the training ground, urging him to adopt an uninhibited mindset and refusing to overload him with tactical restrictions.

“I think it is important for him not to deal with the pressure and just deal with this capability to solve any offensive complications,” Nagelsmann told reporters. “I have a lot of meetings with Jamal, when I was coaching at Bayern and also as his national team coach.

“I always said he should just play like he is on a small pitch anywhere as a kid and playing with his friends. He is brilliant at just playing football, and he should just enjoy playing football.”

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It is difficult for even Europe’s finest defenders to control a player when you simply have no idea what he is going to do next. Musiala’s free role is by no means unprecedented, as giving a highly skilled young performer the license to “quarterback” situations and use their own ingenuity is becoming more popular. Think how Real Madrid uses Jude Bellingham.

But when combined with the other talents in the home nation’s squad, fellow youngster Florian Wirtz’s energy and guile, plus the veteran experience of Ilkay Gundogan and Toni Kroos, it is even more effective.

“For me, it is incredible to play with Jamal because he can do the unexpected in every single situation,” Barcelona midfielder Gundogan told reporters. “Maybe he is the most important player for us at the moment, even though he is so young.

“I love him. He is such a complete player and such a nice guy as well, very humble. If he keeps doing his thing, what he is doing right now, he can be one of the best.”

Ari Hingst joins the pod, Germany clinches knockout round

It is easy to forget this now, but Germany came into the tournament with low expectations following a fairly dismal lead-up year in friendly games.

Nagelsmann was being doubted by the German public and the group just didn’t seem to have enough star power. No one is saying that now.

Musiala could have chosen to play for England, having spent much of his childhood there. His family left for Germany when he was 16, the decision believed to be connected to uncertainty over how the United Kingdom’s Brexit regulations would affect those born overseas.

The German public is enjoying its fresh-faced team and the story behind them, and is already eyeing a dream run to the final. There are notable similarities in the national feeling created by this team and the 2006 World Cup squad, which also confounded pre-tournament critics by surging all the way to the semis at home.

Ari Hingst on how the 2006 World Cup changed Germany

Philip Lahm, the tournament director of Euro 2024, was a key part of the 2006 group, scoring the first goal of that tournament from his position at left-back.

He, too, has been entranced by Musiala and his effect on German spirits — and the tournament.

“Musiala is virtually impossible to get off the ball,” Lahm told The Guardian. “He can beat an opponent from a standing start. When the opposing teams have parked the bus and lined up their players in front of goal, he is able to find solutions.”

The bigger question is, as Germany powers onward, who can find a solution for him?

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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