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Germany News: Ballack shocked by early exit

1 year ago

In the latest Germany news, former midfielder Michael Ballack says he is struggling to find an explanation for Die Mannschaft’s early exit from the 2018 World Cup.

Germany arrived in Russia as defending champions, having edged out Argentina in Brazil four years ago, and many thought they would make a serious challenge for glory again.

However, Joachim Low’s men started the tournament with a 1-0 defeat to Mexico before a Toni Kroos stoppage-time strike helped them beat Sweden 2-1 in their second Group F game.

A win over South Korea in the last group game would have seen Germany into the last-16 stage, but another disappointing performance resulted in a 2-0 loss to the Taegeuk Warriors.

The defending champions, who handed Low a new contract prior to the tournament, finished bottom of the standings and were eliminated in the first round for just the second time –  the last coming in 1938 before the introduction of the group stage.

Questions are being asked about the future of the head coach and Ballack, who was capped 98 times for his country, says he is still baffled at how poorly they performed.

“The result from Wednesday in Kazan was a total shock for me,” he said. “Continued success can lead to mistakes. It can be difficult for critics to be heard when things are going so well.

“But then, once you start to fail, the critical voices start to be noticed and everyone is shouting about it. In German football, there is an apocalyptical mood right now.

“There is no explanation as to how a team with this quality can end at the bottom of this group. How can this group of players struggle with all these basics of football?”

Brazil are 7/2 favourites with bet365 to win the World Cup, Spain are a 4/1 chance, whilst Belgium, who beat England 1-0 on Thursday night to top Group G, are priced at 13/2.