In Qatar, Germany’s World Cup run is cut short once again

In the not so distant past, Germany, at the start of a World Cup, was assured of a place of finalist or at worst of a presence in the last four. The Maanschaft sometimes fell, but never from very high. It was reliable like its sedans, magnificently arrogant and always there. But the clichés have lived and we must accept a present in which the quadruple world champion falls from entry for the second consecutive time after 2018.

In their misfortune, the Germans have made one happy: Spain. In this group E, the fate of the two European powers was linked before this last day. Hansi Flick’s players beat Costa Rica (4-2) in Al-Bayt, during a match refereed by the French Stephanie Frappart. Problem, a few kilometers further south in Doha, the Roja stumbled against Japan (1-3). With six points, the Japanese finish first, Spain are second ahead of Maanschaft due to better goal difference (+6 against +1).

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The Spanish “savior” is called Kai Havertz, a young man from Aix-La-Chapelle. At the 70e minute, lightning fell on the Old Continent. Despite an almost indecent domination and facing a team attacking with two, Germany achieved the feat of conceding a second goal on a failed outing by their goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, struck by decline. At 2-1, Costa Rica is then in the round of 16. The Ticos had three minutes to pinch themselves, no more, before the equalizer from Harvertz just came into play. The Chelsea striker secures Spanish qualification with a third goal, something to be thanked for by the daily brand of one “Gracias” hardly ironic.

“Dance”, “thank you” but above all goodbye. Another entrant, Niclas Füllkrug scores well for honor in stoppage time and gives grist to the mill for those nostalgic for a return to a real number 9 in the national team. World champion in 2014 thanks to a cultural revolution based on a game less direct, more sophisticated and very inspired by that of… Spain, Germany produces beautiful ball handlers – Sané, Gnabry, Kimmich, Gundogan, without forgetting 19-year-old nugget Jamal Musiala – but no longer knows how to be cold, realistic and ruthless. As were in their time Beckenbauer, Breitner, Matthäus or, in the more recent past, Hummels.

Eighteen months from organizing its Euro, downgrading awaits for a formation also eliminated in the round of 16 of the last European championship by England. “I don’t think we are no longer a major tournament team. We had a great team behind us. I don’t think Germany is a second division team.”, however assures the most popular man of the evening in Madrid: Kai Havertz. Less detached, the veteran Thomas Müller blamed the blow at the microphone of the AR channel and evoked “an absolute disaster” and entrusted his “feeling of helplessness” after this 121e selection which is likely to be the last.

A coach already confirmed despite the elimination

Hansi Flick, he refuses to release the place unlike his Belgian counterpart, Roberto Martinez forced to resign earlier in the day. Wednesday at a press conference, the coach announced his desire to continue until 2024, even if his World Cup ended against Costa Rica. “Working with this team motivates me, he reaffirmed after this victory for nothing. But after this game, it’s not the time to talk about the restdid he declare. I’m having fun, we have a good team and good players coming. It won’t be up to me. »

Flick will probably not escape a media trial with the popular daily as prosecutor Picturethe specialized magazine Kicker and a few elders always ready to pay for the new generation. But the ex-assistant of Joachim Löw (in office from 2006 to 2021) also defends an idea of ​​play, that proposed by his team. ” We must not discuss this today. Hansi already has a contract until 2024 and I think he will honor it”defended the sporting director, Oliver Bierhof.

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Flick’s Germany was not below everything. But she had a guilty absence of twenty minutes against Japan, an inaugural defeat (2-1) which testifies to her difficulty in preserving her results. Which is still a lot to hope to go far in a big tournament. “I am convinced that we had enough chances against Spain and Japan but we had to convert them (…) and there were also a lot of individual errors”acknowledged Flick.

The Maanschaft has already left Qatar where she has also (above all) distinguished herself by taking a number of positions on the defense of human rights in the Emirate. Failing to see his captain, Manuel Neuer wore the inclusive “one Love” armband, he and his teammates mimed a gag with their hand in front of their mouths before the match against Japan, accusing Fifa of having silenced them.

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Did the Germans really have their minds at this World Cup? Across the Rhine, a decline in audiences was observed during the selection matches for the two public broadcasters (ARD and ZDF). “I have never had so little desire to follow a World Cup as this one”said Vice-Chancellor Robert Habec. This ecologist knows Doha well, however, having traveled there in March to negotiate a contract for the delivery of liquefied gas.

According to a Civey/Spiegel poll, carried out from October 18 to November 17 among 5,000 people, 77% of those questioned declared that their interest in this edition was less than in the previous one. So much the better. Perhaps this saved them from seeing their selection eliminated again in the first round.

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