Big boot for Germany
Few ever believe that four-time champion Germany is on their way home after shocking exits from the first round. No excuses. The bottom line is that throughout this tournament, Germany displayed none of their familiar solidity in defence and was complacent whenever they went ahead.
Germany’s air of global invincibility has long since gone and these past couple of weeks were perhaps the final confirmation of that fact. They fly out of Qatar as a fallen giant of world football.
Germany, once regarded as nailed-on certainties to go deep into major tournaments and even in Qatar, despite a chaotic 4-2 win against Costa Rica. Japan’s 2-1 win over Spain proved terminal to their hopes.
Painful for die-hard global fans since this is the second World Cup in succession that Germany has failed to get out of their group, suffering the same fate in Russia in 2018.
Watching over television, the sight of Germany’s players gazing at a bank of empty red seats was the grim conclusion to a very sorry campaign.
Germany head coach Hansi Flick looked devastated at the final whistle. But he admitted later that “we didn’t play at the right way and deserve to be booted out”.
Now there is no more Germany’s air of football invincibility and they must buck up from square one to redeem themselves.
* Suresh Nair is an award-winning sports journalist who is also a qualified international coach and international referee instructor.
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