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01st Jul 2018

Germany legend opens fire on disappointing Bayern Munich players

They were bitterly disappointing this time around

Reuben Pinder

Germany suffered an embarrassing exit in the group stage of this World Cup

Germany continued the strange trend of the reigning world champions falling at the first hurdle of the following tournament. France’s 1998 victory was followed by a humiliating defeat in 2002; Italy suffered the same fate in 2006 and 2010; Spain too in 2010 and 2014.

Nobody expected Germany to follow suit this time around, especially after winning the confederations cup last summer with their second string, but they never got going in Russia. In fact, they only managed to take it to the final group game thanks to a last minute Toni Kroos free kick against Sweden.

Lothar Matthäus, who played in five World Cups for Germany, has called out the Bayern Munich players in the Germany squad, accusing them of not being focussed on the team.

“The team has got leaders but the leaders were preoccupied with themselves,” he said.

“I am thinking in particular of the Bayern Munich players – Boateng, Hummels, [Manuel] Neuer, Muller. Apart from Manuel I believe that nobody can be happy with his performance.

“A [Champions League] semi-final loss against Real Madrid, a [DFB-Pokal] final defeat against [Eintracht] Frankfurt.”

Joachim Löw may well step down as Germany coach now, having reached the semi-finals of every tournament at which he has led Die Manschafft bar this World Cup.

Mathhäus believes he got his squad selection wrong this time.

“I am a fan of his. In the last 12 or 14 years he has characterised the German football and Germany,” he said.

“He didn’t only lead Germany to the World Cup but also they reached the semi-finals in every tournament. There is nothing to reproach him for in all of his past – apart from this current tournament.

“In my opinion, he didn’t find the right mix in the team between the Confederations Cup-winning team and the World Cup winners from 2014.

“It was actually a team who didn’t have a chance of keeping up physically with the Mexicans and South Koreans, especially their pace.”