The Germans’ anger after Die Mannschaft was eliminated from the 2022 World Cup
Germany's Bild newspaper led a wave of criticism of the national team with the headline: "Shameful! We're out", after Germany won 4-2 over Costa Rica but were unable to progress because in the other match at the same time, Japan beat Spain with a score of 2-1.
The German team was eliminated from the World Cup group stages two times in a row.
"The world of football used to tremble before us. Germany is now a football dwarf," the newspaper continued.
After three matches in the group stage, the German team got 4 points. They lost to Japan in the opening match, drew Spain and won Costa Rica, but that result was not enough for Germany to progress.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper published "German football has fallen to the bottom again, 4 years after the first time being eliminated in the group stage", while the Suddeutsche Zeitung wrote "That’s it! Disqualified! And disqualified again".
"Germany was narrowly eliminated from the World Cup," the fan said. "That can't happen with a better team."
In Japan's second goal against Spain, the ball appeared to have gone all the way out of the goal line before a Japanese player crossed the ball into Spain’s goal box. The Spanish players protested, forcing the referee to refer to VAR. The referee then determined that part of the ball was still on the outside edge of the line and thus awarded the goal to Japan.
German fans think that the ball was totally past the goal line in Japan's second goal.
Many German fans immediately took to social media to call this an invalid goal and criticize VAR's decision to recognize that goal. Other fans quipped it was "retribution" for England midfielder Frank Lampard's 2010 "ghost goal." Lampard's goal went straight into Germany’s net but was not recognized, causing England to lose 1-4 and be eliminated in the round of 16 in that year’s tournament.
In a bar in the east of Berlin, Eric Warncke was "disappointed" by Germany's unexpected disqualification, but said he had doubted it would ever happen. "Nobody thought Japan would beat Spain, but in the end we were eliminated in a worthy way," said Warncke, 27.
According to Warncke, the German team has no advantage over its opponents. Germany used to be proud of the team that always had a chance to win the World Cup. "Individually they are all good players, but they are not a team," he added.
"It's disappointing, but we deserve it," said Rico Wagner, 23, a friend of Warncke's.
The disappointment of a German fan at Al Bayt Stadium.
Even before the TV commentator confirmed Japan's victory and Germany's disqualification, exclaiming "this is a failure, a disaster", some fans grabbed their coats and left the bar. Angry screams were heard as the referee blew the whistle to terminate the game.
Levent Lanzke, 41, said Germany should have "certainly made it to the quarter-finals". "In theory yes, but Japan has appeared. Costa Rica too," he said, shrugging. "In this way, I don't resent Japan."
Sebastian Fichte, 48, believes that the host country's decision to hold the tournament in the winter rather than the traditional summer has dampened the players' enthusiasm.
Views of German matches have so far been much lower than usual. Fichte said he would not boycott the remaining matches of the World Cup, even though Germany has been eliminated. Another football fan Michael Schreiber, 43, was on the same page with Fichte. "I'll watch a match or two. Sure. I'm excited for good games," he said.