Joshua Kimmich has opened on Germany’s dismal showing at the 2018 World Cup and how it affected him on a personal level.
- Kimmich discusses World Cup disappointment
- Admits 2018 tournament was lowest moment
- Confident Germany have learned from mistakes
WHAT HAPPENED? Heading into the tournament as defending champions from 2014, Kimmich and Die Mannschaft shockingly failed to make it out of the group stages, finishing bottom of a group that consisted of Mexico, Sweden and South Korea. Kimmich has discussed their infamous tournament failure ahead of the upcoming Qatar World Cup.
WHAT HE SAID: Speaking to The Players’ Tribune, the Bayern Munich midfielder admitted he ‘didn’t watch a minute’ of the tournament following Germany’s exit in 2018: “That was the lowest I’d ever felt in football. Physically, I was fine, but mentally, it took me weeks to recover. I still remember the changing room after the 2–0 defeat to Korea. Completely quiet. Everybody sitting in silence.
“I had my head in my hands thinking about how I’d let down the fans, my family, the whole country. I remember, Joachim Low was talking but I didn’t really take in what he was saying. I was like a zombie, you know? I was in my own little world of disappointment.
“I’ve learned a lot in these last years and I feel that extra responsibility for the team and the results. But we need everyone.
“In the past, maybe we talked too much about the title. We got ahead of ourselves. This winter, I honestly don’t know what success will look like. Maybe the expectations are a bit different. Maybe that’s a good thing.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Low’s side were comprehensively dispatched of in 2018, losing their tournament opener to Mexico and then falling to a shock 2-0 defeat to South Korea in their final game, condemning them to a bottom-of-the-group finish despite beating Sweden.
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WHAT NEXT FOR GERMANY? Now led by former Bayern manager Hansi Flick, who led Die Roten to spellbinding success in 2020, Germany kick off their 2022 tournament in Group E against Japan next week.