Germany were eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage for the second tournament in a row on Thursday as Japan’s victory over Spain condemned them to the first flight home. Germany’s exit from the competition in Qatar is bad, but not as bad as people think.
Hansi Flick’s men were dealt a shock opening fixture defeat as they were beaten 2-1 by Japan. In their following fixture against Spain, Germany managed to keep their Round of 16 qualification hopes alive, snatching a late draw courtesy of a strike from Niclas Fullkrüg.
The Germans needed a favour from the Spanish side, requiring Luis Enrique’s men to take something from their encounter with the Japanese, as well as needing a win over Costa Rica.
Despite seeing off the South American outfit in an enthralling encounter that ended 4-2, Germany were eliminated from the tournament after Japan recorded yet another shock victory, this time over Spain. The result meant that the Asian nation top the group with the Spaniards following them in second.
The Germans were subject to many different expectations heading into the World Cup by fans around the world, with many citing their form in the previous competition in Russia as well as the EUROs last year as reason to be doubtful over how far they could go.
But the appointment of Hansi Flick as head coach swayed many into thinking Die Mannschaft were about to launch another attack on international football given the tactical prowess he displayed during his treble-winning season in charge of German giants Bayern Munich in 2020.
Flick currently may not have the German national team playing the most expansive football, but he has done well to integrate some of the exciting young talent in the German ranks, including Jamal Musiala, Youssoufa Moukoko and Nico Schlotterbeck.
Germany’s second consecutive group-stage exit is, on the face of it, massively disappointing given the footballing history associated with the nation as well as the vast pool of talent available.
However, given the exciting young generation currently being integrated into the squad, Germany may not view the early exit in Qatar too damagingly, and instead as a stumbling block.
Germany are set to host EURO 2024, which suggests Flick’s appointment was more long-term than initially thought. The German football association may have set Flick the objective of having a squad ready and equipped to go all the way in 2024, in front of their home fans.
If this is indeed the case, then Germany’s exit on Thursday will be nothing more than a learning curve for many of the young members of their squad, who will undoubtedly gain some valuable experience that will aid them in their push for glory in 2024.
We’re obviously not saying Germany wanted to exit the tournament this early. But if they do go on to lift the EURO 2024 trophy, don’t be surprised if many players part of that squad cite their experience in this year’s World Cup as vital in their development
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