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Thomas Müller Calls Germany's 2022 World Cup Exit 'an Absolute Catastrophe'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 1, 2022

AL KHOR, QATAR - DECEMBER 01: A dejected Thomas Muller of Germany waves to the fans at full time after both teams are knocked out the FIFA World Cup in the group stages during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Costa Rica and Germany at Al Bayt Stadium on December 1, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Longtime German men's national team forward Thomas Müller didn't mince words about the team's failure to advance to the group stage of the World Cup for a second straight tournament after winning the title in 2014.

"It's an absolute catastrophe," he told reporters. "It is unbelievably bitter for us because our result would have been enough [if Spain hadn't lost to Japan]. It's a feeling of powerlessness. If that was my last game for Germany, it has been a tremendous pleasure. Thank you very much."

It seems likely to be the final World Cup for veterans Müller, Manuel Neuer, Ilkay Gündogan and Mario Götze, while manager Hansi Flick's time may be drawing to a close as well.

"If this was my last game, it was a huge pleasure," Müller added. "I've done it with love."

Since winning the 2014 World Cup, the Germans reached the semifinals of the 2016 Euros, bowed out in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup and lost in the round of 16 at the 2020 Euros (played in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Flick told reporters Thursday:

"We need to assess our World Cup, head into a different direction. This is the next step we will take and we will do it very soon. We can get up quickly and recover. We will see what the future looks like and how we can implement our ideas. I am a very critical person and we will assess everything."

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Germany is speechless. <a href="https://t.co/TVP7FE4I6q">pic.twitter.com/TVP7FE4I6q</a>

Germany will look to regroup ahead of the 2024 Euros, which it is hosting. And it seems likely that a great number of changes are in store after Germany beat Costa Rica 4-2 on Thursday but failed to advance because Spain had a superior goal differential.

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

Germany, the team with the highest xG (+10.0) and xGD (+6.4) at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, is going home 🤯<br><br>UNBELIEVABLE! <a href="https://t.co/x0uUF9sQ7r">pic.twitter.com/x0uUF9sQ7r</a>

In particular, a 2-1 loss against Japan earlier in the group stage loomed large, as did a 1-1 draw with Spain.

Flick told reporters:

"I don't care about different teams, it's all up to us. If you look at the games and number of goals that were our fault, I am convinced that we gave away our chances against Spain and Japan. You have to take your chances and score goals. If we had, it would have been a different story. There were lots of individual mistakes in the games and it made me very angry. I told the team I was upset. But I'm not looking for excuses."