'It's a disgrace!': Germany reacts to embarrassing World Cup group stage exit




  • In Sports
  • 2022-12-02 00:03:16Z
  • By The Telegraph
'How embarassing!  

Germany have failed to reach the knockout round at a World Cup for the second consecutive time, failing to banish the demons from an ignominious exit at the same stage in 2018.

Germany secured the necessary victory over Costa Rica, beating the side 4-2, but failed to account for Spain's defeat at the hands of Japan, who pulled ahead of their opponents following the confirmation of a controversial second goal.

The German press were quick to vent their frustration at the national side, with Bild's headline declaring: "How embarrassing! We're out!"

"For the second time in a row, Germany missed the knockout round of a World Cup," their coverage of Germany's exit began. "The bitter record: an embarrassing defeat against Japan, a strong draw against Spain and a resounding victory against Costa Rica.

"It is a disgrace!"

Jamal Musiala was dejected after Germany failed to make the knockout stages - KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP
Jamal Musiala was dejected after Germany failed to make the knockout stages - KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP  

Germany's World Cup campaign started with a lacklustre performance against Japan, which saw them lose 2-1 after breaking the initial deadlock with a penalty scored by Ilkay Gundogan. A ground-out draw against Spain kept them in the tournament, and a shock win by Costa Rica over Japan meant the group's hierarchy, and who progressed to the next round, came down to the final match.

Bild summed up the deflated mood after the final whistle blew on Germany's hard-fought, but ultimately futile win, stating that it was unbelieved that after Russia 2018, "it gets worse."

"The football world used to tremble in front of us," they went on to say. "We were praised as a 'tournament team.'

"Now, Germany is just a football dwarf."

Rather than place blame at the doors of the decision taken by Var officials, the German press praised Japan despite their role in knocking out the national team, with Der Spiegel lauding "Japan's jokers" who "turned the game around".

Thomas Muller, who has competed in four World Cups with the national team, called Germany's loss an "absolute catastrophe", adding that due to Japan's role in Germany's elimination, he was struck by "a feeling of powerlessness".

Muller also hinted that his long international career might now have come to an end. "If that was my last game for Germany, it has been a tremendous pleasure, thank you very much," he said.

Flick wants to keep his job

Germany coach Hansi Flick, meanwhile, called for an overhaul of his country's academy system and demanded a return to "the basics" of player production.

Germany have long been regarded as having one of the most advanced systems of player development in world football but that reputation is now under threat.

Flick's future as head coach is in serious doubt, despite the former Bayern Munich manager only starting in the role in August last year. After the match he said he wanted to remain in the job.

"I believe that for the future of German football we need to do things differently with training," said Flick after his side's 4-2 win over Costa Rica, which was not enough to send them through to the knockout stages because of Japan's shock victory over Spain.

"For years we have been talking about new goalkeepers, new wing-backs. What was always good in German football was that we were able to defend well. We need the basics."

The one encouraging aspect of Germany's World Cup has been the sparkling performances of Jamal Musiala, the former England youth international who is now starring for Bayern Munich.

"It is unfortunate that such a player cannot continue to play in this tournament," said Flick. "Jamal has been trained in England, not Germany."

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