The German national soccer team is no longer a European powerhouse if recent results are anything to go by.
After finishing third in last year’s UEFA Nations League (UNL) League A with one win, four draws and one loss in six games in Group 3, the Germans were completely lost at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
They won one game, drew one and lost one in the group stage, finishing third in the group behind Japan and Spain. It was their second consecutive failure to reach the round of 16 since the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The “after” is even worse for German soccer fans.
There was a glimmer of hope in March when they won their first post-World Cup A-match, a 2-0 victory over Peru.
However, they have since slumped to one draw and four defeats. After losing 2-3 to Belgium in March, Germany struggled to a 3-3 draw with Ukraine in June. Even then, a late Joachim Kimmich (Bayern Munich) penalty saved them from defeat.
They then lost to Poland (0-1) and Colombia (0-1).
Desperate for a turnaround, Germany welcomed Japan home on Sept. 10, but were brought to their knees in a stunning 1-4 defeat. The result was especially stinging as the team had hoped to “avenge” their World Cup defeat in Qatar.
After three straight losses, Germany’s next opponent is France, a team that once contended for European supremacy. The two teams will face off at 4 a.m. ET on June 13.
France has been on a roll since the World Cup in Qatar, where they narrowly missed out on the title.
In their first game after the World Cup, France thrashed the Netherlands 4-0 and then took all four games in March and June.
The German soccer world was shocked when they were thrashed by Japan before facing the in-form French.
Captain Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona) told RTL after the loss: “They were clearly better than us in the air. We made too many mistakes that we shouldn’t have made in a game of this level.”
“Everyone is a little bit shocked,” said German national team coach Rudy Föhler, adding that the 1-4 defeat was an embarrassment.
Pöller was also unable to give a firm answer when asked about the future of Hanji Flick as coach.
Despite the World Cup group stage exit, the German Football Association has shown confidence in Flick to lead the national team through to the European Football Championship (Euro 2024).
When asked if Flick is the right man for the job in the build-up to Euro 2024, Pöller said: “We have to go home, calm down a bit and get back to training tomorrow. We have a difficult game against France,” he said.
“We have to reflect a little bit and think about the next game. We’ll see what happens next,” he said.
Lothar Matthäus, a “legend” of German soccer with 150 caps, who works as a soccer commentator, has been sharply critical of not only Flick, but also the entire national team and football federation.
According to local media outlet Bild, Matthäus said, “I know what has been going on in the DFB for months. There are not many people who support Flick,” he said, adding, “There was a time when there was a president [Pöller], but I’m not sure if that’s still the case.”
“Flick, who was very respected at Bayern Munich (Germany), has lost a certain amount of credibility,” he added, “I don’t believe what the players say anymore. All they say is that they have to repay him, but what have they shown for months?” he said.
Under pressure, Flick insisted he was “the right man for the job” when asked about his future at a press conference after the Japan game, Reuters reported.
“Football is so dynamic, you never know what’s going to happen,” Flick said, adding, “I’ll be ready for France. I will prepare for the game against France and give the team courage,” he added.
Flick signed a three-year contract with the German Football Association in August 2021.
Since taking charge of Bayern Munich in 2019, the German professional soccer team has won the Bundesliga in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, the UEFA Champions League in 2019-2020, and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2020. 파워볼게임