Madness, rarely was the word more appropriate than this Thursday. As in Russia four years ago, the German national soccer team fails in the preliminary round. She fails on posts, latte, an outstanding Keylor Navas - and the Spanish embarrassment in the parallel game.
Up until this Thursday evening, 9.35 p.m. German time, Costa Rica will play 215 terrible World Cup minutes (not including the ludicrous overtime), then the most astonishing transformation in recent football history will succeed. A team, for whose incredible harmlessness there is simply no suitable word, which freezes like a rabbit in front of a snake against the rampant giant Germany, suddenly forces the top favorites into an open exchange of blows. A misunderstanding by David Raum and Antonio Rüdiger is enough to wake the Central American from his desert slumber - in the end Germany somehow still wins the game 4-2 - but has to watch idly as Spain disgraces themselves in the parallel game against Japan (1 :2). Means: Out, out, out. Like four years ago, Germany fails in the preliminary round!
Oh, what excited days they were! Soccer giant Germany trembled at soccer dwarf Costa Rica, who had finally beaten Japan. With a chance, with a goal! Crazy. And then there were the Spaniards, the football giant had also trembled before them, because conspiracy theories were wafting over from the land of the former Tiki-Taka heroes that second place in the table could be better for the rest of the tournament. Yes and now? Germany's football is crying, Germany's footballers are crying. Germany's football is in ruins. Fire-free. Times will be troubled.
Great careers in German football could end this evening. What about Manuel Neuer? What about İlkay Gündoğan, who once had to be persuaded to continue. And what about Thomas Müller? In the ARD he avoided resigning, but in an emotional speech to the nation he thanked him for the common path. He still wanted to think, but that sounded like a farewell speech!
In the 10th minute of a confused game, it still looks as if Germany, who had already celebrated what felt like a premature entry into the round of 16 after beating Spain 1-1, would try to solve the matter on their own. It could have been 3-0, it was 1-0 thanks to Serge Gnabry's first goal at this World Cup. The FC Bayern professional, who had been so unlucky up to now, headed in, took the ball out of the net with a wildly determined look and made it clear: we need goals and we will score them. They didn't want to rely on Spain. The DFB team played well, Spain also took the lead in the parallel game, everything went according to plan.
Germany launched attack after attack on goal from a completely overwhelmed Costa Rica, but no further goals were scored. Because the post was in the way, because the goal was wrong, because a Costa Rican's leg always blocked the way to happiness. Precisely because the German team, like in the first game, lacked efficiency.
And then there was that 35th minute, when you duped new faith into the hearts of a completely hopeless opponent who managed one (!) shot on goal in the first two games, who had only seen the German goal from afar: David Raum and Antonio Rüdiger invited Keysher Fuller to score the second goal of the tournament, while Manuel Neuer made a sensational save. This was followed by the agitation with which the German team gave up the game against Japan despite having 78 percent of the ball. The consequence: Suddenly the blatant outsider was leading, the German vigor was completely gone. In the end, the team turned the game, at least that. But it was not enough, again. Thomas Müller, who was unable to contribute anything specific to the game during his hour of play, said after the disaster that "it wasn't done badly". Not bad, but not enough at a World Cup.
Tore: 0:1 Gnabry (10th), 1:1 Y. Tejeda (58th), 2:1 C. Borges (70th), 2:2 Havertz (73rd), 2:3 Havertz (85th) Costa Rica: K. Navas/Paris Saint-Germain (35 Years/109 Country Games/0 Tore) - K. Fuller/CS Herediano (25/32/3) ab Bennette/AFC Sunderland (10/18/2), O. Duarte/Al-Wehda (33/73/4), K. Waston/Deportivo Saprissa (34/65/9), J. Vargas/Millionaires FC (27/27) 13/1), C. Borges/LD Alajuelense (34/155/25) - Y. Tejeda/CS Herediano (30/74/1) ab 90. 3 R. Wilson/Municipal AD Greece (20/4/0) , B. Oviedo/Royal Salt Lake (32/78/2) ab 90. 3 Contreras/CS Herediano (11/22) - B. Aguilera/AD Guanacasteca (8/19), ab. 46. Y. Salas/Deportivo Saprissa (6/26), J. Campbell/Club Leon (30/112/23) - Johan Venegas/LD Alajuelense (34/81/11) ab 74. Matarrita/FC Cincinnati ( 28/53/3). - Trainer: Suarez.Germany: Neuer/Bayern Munich (36 Years/117 National Games/0 Tore) - Kimmich/Bayern Munich (27/74/5), Süle/Borussia Dortmund (27/45/1) ab 90. 4 Ginter SC Freiburg (28/48/2), Rüdiger/Real Madrid (29/57/2), Raum/RB Leipzig (24/15/0) Gündogan/Manchester City (32/66/17) ab 55. Füllkrug/Werder Bremen (29/4/2) - Sane/Bayern Munich (26/50/11), Goretzka/Bayern Munich (27/48/14) ab . . . . 46. Klostermann/RB Leipzig (26/21/0), Musiala/Bayern Munich (19/20/1), Gnabry/Bayern Munich (27/39/21) - Müller/Bayern Munich (33/121/44) ab 66. Minutes Havertz/FC Chelsea (23/33/10). - Trainer: Flick. Scheduler: Stephanie Frappart (France)Zuschauer: 67,054 (in Al-Khor)
Maybe it was because of the few dozen fans who made it difficult for Qatar to enter the Desert World Cup. "Adler Bretten" was there, "Bad Waldsee", "Ratingen" too and of course "Air Bäron". But when after Serge Gnabry made it 1-0, the Deutschland-Allesfahrer chanted "get up if you're German", nobody got up. Because hardly anyone here is from the catchment area of the DFB. The Al-Bayt is once again a mood grave. Costa Rican fans don't stand out for their chants either. So it stays with tired "Germany, Germany" calls. When the game robs the spectators of their last oxygen, everyone slowly drifts away, someone starts the wave. Just don't fall asleep, the drive to Doha will be long enough. A golf cart drives by outside. A Germany flag is blowing in the wind. 23 degrees, 73% humidity. The next game is not at the Al-Bayt. "Germany Germany."