In a press conference earlier today, Oliver Bierhoff expressed his disappointment for Germany crashing out of Euro 2020 at the hands of England in the round of 16. It was always going to be an uphill task for Die Mannschaft to get out of Group F along with France and Portugal in what was dubbed the “group of death,” but Bierhoff felt that Germany was capable of much more (Sport Buzzer).
Germany showed quality in spurts against France and Portugal, but not so much against Hungary, and not enough against England. Despite the collective underperformance as a whole, Bierhoff said he genuinely felt this side had what it took to go the distance this summer. “I believed in it and was convinced that we could march to the end with this team in the tournament. In the end, however, is the result, that is the elimination in the round of 16. Of course we are not satisfied with that,” he explained.
It’s goes without saying that there’s consistently been an underlying air of frustration and disappointment surrounding Joachim Low and the German national team since the 2018 World Cup and their underwhelming UEFA Nations League outings. There had been a strong call from German fans and press to have Low step down, but the DFB was insistent on keeping him at the helm through this summer before finally making the decision to replace him with Hansi Flick after the Euros. Despite all of that noise, Bierhoff ascertained that the players in the squad were fully focused, prepared, and in high spirits going into the tournament and could’ve progressed further; “It hurts a lot right now because you’ve invested a lot. The players were disciplined and focused. We had a good preparation and a good environment on the home ground,” he said,
Bierhoff doesn’t think it will be very long before Germany is back in the conversation as a European powerhouse, progressing to the later stages of international competitions; “Our aim is always to be among the best. I cannot be satisfied that we are underdogs. As Germany, we always aim to play at the forefront. The younger players have to gain experience, perhaps even more in one of their clubs responsible role,” he said.
Toni Kroos all but confirmed that the 2-0 loss to England was his last competitive match for Germany in addition to Low. Aside from the Real Madrid midfielder, Bierhoff said he hadn’t anticipated on any of the older, more veteran players announcing their resignation from Die Mannschaft any time soon. “I haven’t heard from any of the older players that they had considered resigning or wanted to announce something in the press,” he commented. Of course, it’s only just over a year until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off. Time will tell if older players like Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller are still involved for that tournament.