DFB-Elf fails at the World Cup: Musiala mourns his "role model", Kimmich fears "falling into a hole" - the bewilderment in Al Chaur

This 4:2 in the stadium in Al Chaur, Qatar, is probably the most painful victory that a German national team has ever achieved.

DFB-Elf fails at the World Cup: Musiala mourns his "role model", Kimmich fears "falling into a hole" - the bewilderment in Al Chaur

This 4:2 in the stadium in Al Chaur, Qatar, is probably the most painful victory that a German national team has ever achieved. She went ahead, she was behind, fought back, took the lead again, but it was all worthless in the end. The victory against Costa Rica, won in the third World Cup preliminary round, was not enough to stay in the tournament. The message was brought to the players via an overlay on the video screens. In the group game that was taking place at the same time, Japan took a 2-1 lead in the 54th minute. This made it clear that the Germans would no longer be able to decide their own fate. Japan scored more points, Spain scored more goals. The World Cup in Qatar ends for the Germans after only eight days. Out in the preliminary round - like in 2018, but at the time this was only considered an industrial accident that would definitely not happen again.

A mistake, as has been known since midnight, Qatar local time. Germany, world champion in 2014, has slipped into the lower midfield of world football. The EM 2021, then still under coach Löw, failed. The DFB team was eliminated by England in the round of 16. Löw resigned, Flick took over, and with him, the successful coach of FC Bayern, who won six titles within a year, there was a hope of finding his way back to glory and strength.

Will Flick remain national coach after this premature death at the World Cup? Probably yes, because in the end it was the 2-1 draw in Japan that was the undoing of the Germans - that's what his employer, the DFB, will probably argue. But the fact that the DFB team got into this situation of being dependent on foreign powers is very much the fault of Flick. Analyzing the bumpy 4-2 win against Costa Rica, this simple victory of will and anger in foggy Al Chaur, that won't help the Germans. The game against Japan, which the Germans carelessly gave away, will still have to be discussed. The entire World Cup is condensed into this one game. The 1-1 draw against Spain: absolutely fine, there was nothing more to be gained against this class team. The win against Costa Rica: not pretty to look at, but the result was right. But Japan? A boldly formed defence, not well-rehearsed, a central defender on the right winger; a young man in the defense headquarters, that was adventurous.

In the press conference after the Costa Rica game, coach Flick spoke with tears in his voice more about Japan than about the game in the evening. Flick announced that he wanted to examine everything - "anyone who knows us knows that we will do this quickly and consistently".

Flick will have to do the same. The failure at the World Cup will not only result in a sporting reappraisal - structures and personnel will also be questioned. National coach Flick, DFB director Oliver Bierhoff, President Bernd Neuendorf, they are all now in question. Bierhoff already suspected that on Thursday evening. He will think about the World Cup in peace, he said in the catacombs of the stadium - "but then others will also decide about it.

It is not yet clear what the night at Al Chaur will mean for the team itself. Those involved were too touched, almost shocked. Jamal Musiala reported "silence" in the dressing room, he mourned his "friend and role model Thomas Müller", who hinted at his retirement from the national team. Joshua Kimmich even said: "This is the most bitter day of my career, the early exit will remain forever associated with my name. I fear falling into a hole."

Almost every player who passed through the mixed zone of the Al Bayt Stadium reviewed the first two games against Japan and Spain as if in fast forward. Japan, always Japan. That was the reference point for many comments and although the game was eight days ago - it is still a mystery to the team. One that tormented and unsettled her, as midfielder Jonas Hofmann admitted.

The national team will leave Qatar this Friday. The World Cup is over, but it will keep the Germans busy for a long time.

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