- Defeat to Japan in opener proved costly
- Could only finish third in Group E
- Dumped out early in last three tournaments
WHAT HAPPENED? Having crashed out in 2018 without reaching the knockout rounds, history has repeated itself for Die Mannschaft four years on. Hansi Flick’s side were able to see off Costa Rica 4-2 in their final Group E fixture, but an opening 2-1 defeat to Japan proved costly as the Samurai Blue pulled off a shock victory over Spain to progress in the simultaneous game.
WHAT THEY SAID: Picking faults in just about every area of Germany’s game, Manchester City midfielder Gundogan said: “We concede goals too easily, we lose balls too easily and up front we miss goalscoring chances too easily. Of course, as Germany, we have to have different aspirations, so we have to take a good look at ourselves. We just didn't manage to do our best as a group, or maybe individually. We have to question what the reasons were and everyone has to look in the mirror and tell themselves that it wasn't enough.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Joshua Kimmich was another frustrated figure after seeing Germany dumped out of a major tournament in the Middle East, with the versatile Bayern Munich star saying: “This is definitely the most difficult day of my career for me. The second time being eliminated at a World Cup, in between we had the Euros, where we were eliminated early. That is bitter and there have been many missed opportunities within the last four years.”
IN TWO PHOTOS:(C)Getty ImagesGetty Images
WHAT NEXT? Germany did make it to the round of 16 at Euro 2020, only to come unstuck against old adversaries England, and have plenty to mull over ahead of filling hosting duties at the next European Championship in 2024.