Coming into the Qatar World Cup, Germany was considered one of the contenders for the trophy. Even though they failed to qualify past the group stage at the 2018 Russia World Cup, they were stunned and eliminated by the Asian side of South Korea. Drawn up in Group E with Costa Rica and Japan, Germany, alongside Spain, was the favorite to qualify out of the group. Based on their experience and track record, the 2014 champions were favorites to qualify out of the group and win it all. If you want to know about Belgium Kicked Out Of The World Cup in Qatar, click here.
Stunned By Another Underdog
Football has been more popular in Europe and South America in comparison to Asia, making Asian countries one of the usual underdogs at the World Cup. Germany, however, is not just any other European country regarding the World Cup. Tied with Italy at four each, Germany is number 2 after Brazil in the number of World Cup trophies won. In Russia in 2018, Germany fished bottom of Group F behind South Korea after Sweden and Mexico finished first and second, respectively. Moreover, they were put behind the Asian side, South Korea, on goal difference after they tied with three points each.
South Korea, deemed the underdog going into the tournament, denied Germany the chance to proceed to the knockout stages in an upsetting 2-0 win. In the final game of the group stage, the Germans needed all three points to stand a chance of qualifying for the last 16. A game against a winless South Korea seemed like precisely what Germany needed, but they were stunned out of the tournament by the Asian side.
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In Qatar 2022, the Germans have failed again to move past the group stages, courtesy of another Asian side, Japan. Although on matchday one, Japan beat Germany 2-1 in a dramatic comeback, it was again Japan beating Spain that put a stamp on Germany’s demise. Their only win in the tournament came on Thursday in their final match of the Group stages against Costa Rica, but it was too late for their 4-2 display.
Is the ‘German machine’ broken?
Since winning their fourth World Cup in Brazil 2014, Germany has not performed as well in European and intercontinental competitions. This has been despite constantly having world-class players at their disposal. Once a dreaded opponent at the World Cup, Germany has since moved down calibers for unknown reasons. This year’s World Cup in Qatar seemed their shot at revival, but once again, they have failed to qualify for the knockouts.
Could we be witnessing the gradual decline of a giant, or is this the sporadic rise of underdogs?