Barely four years after lifting the World Cup trophy with a humiliating 7-1 win against Brazil, reigning champions Germany crashed out of the Russia 2018 following their 2-0 defeat to South Korea on Wednesday.
With lingering memories from Neymar’s injury and Team Brazil’s disappointing exit from Rio 2014, the Asians vengefully appeased South Americans with their solid performance – one that former Germany national team captain Lothar Matthaus applauded with sadness.
A horde of Brazil national team fans in Lebanon held a funeral to mourn the Germans’ ouster from Russia 2018.
Responding to questions from journalists after the match, Matthaus, who led the German Machines to their 1990 World Cup victory, said his compatriots showed no quality in their three group games.
‘The German team were totally out of shape…they don’t have the rights to go to the second round,’ the Elangen-born football icon said.
Matthaus, 57, explained that Team German missed the performance without which no ambitious World Cup group will ever achieve their objectives.
Image: Lothar Matthaus
However, the football ambassador stressed that “everybody makes mistakes,” including defending champions.
His words: “It starts from the coach to the players. Many players did not perform good personally and it was clear that Germany missed their team spirit.
“Now I know, a little bit, what it must have felt like to be an England fan for so many years but in Germany we cannot complain,” Matthaus wrote in a sports column for The Sun.
“We ended up with the outcome our performances deserved.
“Maybe we were lazy, or just over-confident. The sun has been shining on Germany for the past few years but today will be grey, with heavy rain…I have never seen a German side play so badly for three successive games at a World Cup. It was not a Germany I recognized at all.
“At home the fans are shocked and surprised. But I am not angry that we have gone out. I am angry at the WAY we have gone out,” he added.
The loss to South Korea is the first time either Germany or Brazil failed to progress past the World Cup group stage since 1966.