In the most shocking and unexpected game of the World Cup 2018, Germany has lost to South Korea 2:0.
Why such a surprise?
Well… It’s not only the fact that Germany dropped out of the World Cup at a group stage for the first time since 1938, but the team has also historically won the previous World Cup with Brazil 7:0.
So, in the light of Germany packing their suitcases, we looked at how Germany lost the World Cup and if they have ever had a chance of winning. Or was it all just a hype?
- Germany World Cup History
- Germany World Cup 2018 Formation
- Germany World Cup 2018 Performance
- Could Germany Win The World Cup?
Germany World Cup History
Germany is undoubtedly one of the most successful football teams worldwide. Often predicted as the first one to win, the team has set the football standards for the rest of the world.
Here’s what you have to know about Germany’s FIFA history:
- It’s one of the most successful international teams in history with:
– 4 titles won
– 4 x second place; 4 x third place, 1 x fourth place
- 66.6% success rate that surpasses every other team.
- The only team that stood on the podium every decade of the tournament (1930s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s).
- Progressed past the group stage of the World Cup 16 times in a row.
- Together with Argentina, Brazil and Spain, it’s the only team to win outside their continental confederation.
- Won the 2014 World Cup in South America.
- Germany played more games at the World Cup than any other nation.
Germany World Cup 2018 Formation
Germany’s coach – Joachim Löw – did make some rather surprising choices while picking the official World Cup squad by leaving Manchester City’s winger Leroy Sane and Borussia Dortmund’s World Cup-winner Mario Götze at home.
Sane’s exclusion came as a massive surprise after his excellent season with City, which saw him being named the best Premier League young player of the year.
However, Joachim Löw said it was a “very close decision” between Sane and Julian Brandt, who scored 12 goals and made seven assists for fifth-placed Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen this year.
As the home of the world champions, the Bundesliga has contributed 15 players to the 23-man selection for Russia.
Germany's 23-man World Cup Squad:
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (PSG)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern), Matthias Ginter (Gladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha), Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea), Niklas Süle (Bayern)
Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (PSG), Leon Goretzka (Schalke/Bayern), Ilkay Gündogan (Man City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern)
Forwards: Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Thomas Müller (Bayern), Marco Reus (Dortmund), Timo Werner (Leipzig)
Cut from provisional 27-man squad: Bernd Leno (Leverkusen), Nils Petersen (Freiburg), Jonathan Tah (Leverkusen), Leroy Sane (Man City).
Germany World Cup 2018 Performance
FIFA 2018 was disappointing not only for Germany – some of the favourites (Italy, Argentina) gave an incredibly poor performance, with Italy not even qualifying for the World Cup.
Since the beginning of the tournament, Germany was let down by its recklessness in front of the goal – the nation’s world-class players like Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller scored just two goals over three games. Germany also took twice as many shots as South Korea (similarly to the Mexico loss), but it scored none.
“It turned sour. I must take responsibility for this. Since 2006 we have always reached at least a semi-final. We have to apologise for this. How do we go from here? We’ll have to talk about it calmly, and it’s premature for me to say something. It will take me some hours to come to terms with it, and I’m incredibly disappointed by this elimination.”
In the beginning, the group didn’t look too difficult to pass, especially for the previous World Cup winner, so could it be cockiness of the team that led to a premature exit?
Germany is not an exception, and the history likes repeating itself.
France, Italy, Spain, and now Germany, all won the World Cup, to drop out at the group stage the following tournament.
While the history was there for everybody to see, Germany was supposed to be different. As every other nation occasionally has a poor World Cup or even fails to qualify, Germany is the machine that can always be counted on.
The search for an answer as to what happened will take much longer.
Could Germany Win The World Cup?
From bookies to a casual Joe, Germany was one of the favourites to win.
According to data company Gracenote, Brazil was the statistical favourite to win the World Cup in Russia, but there was a 35% chance that it would have to beat tournament nemesis Germany along the way.
Well, at least it was not just us who made a mistake betting on Germany.
After winning the Confederations Cup in Russia, it seemed pretty clear that Germany was on a clear route to the victory. Also, with Neuer being the best goalkeeper in the last 5 years, nobody has expected Germany to drop out at such an early stage.
So, what happened?
We can draw from history a bit. No nation has ever successfully defended a World Cup except for Brazil in 1962.
Since 2002, 3 out of the 4 defending champions have been eliminated in the first round group stage. France in 2002, Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014. Again, the only exception here is Brazil in 2006 who managed to get to the quarterfinals at WC2006.
Germany usually dominates World Football over an 8–10 year period before a lull. The Germans went to three successive World Cup finals in 82, 86 and 90 (two of these as W. Germany). The only other team to do this is Brazil in 94, 98 and 2002.
There were also multiple team issues, which didn’t help with leading to a victory. Germany is still missing a good striker – Gomez is not old enough, and Götze is not a striker,
At the same time, talents like Sane were resting at home, so the German World Cup 2018 team was left with the veterans who had the last chance to win the tournament. In 2022, the team will likely be taken over by the younger generation.
Even though for the majority it seemed like Germany had strong chances of winning, the performance wasn’t astonishing from the beginning.
The Germans were weak defensively and also lacked attacking force. Neuer just returned from an injury and wasn’t in the top form.
Adding to it changes in the squad during each of this World Cup games, we have a pretty clear answer to how Germany lost the World Cup.
However, let’s not forget that after three World Cups for the generation of Neuer, Kroos, Muller, Ozil, Sami Khedira and Jerome Boateng, 2022 will likely see a new wave of players lead Die Mannschaft.
It doesn’t seem wise to bet on Germany finishing last in its group again.