The luster of their 2014 Men’s World Cup triumph is far in the rear view. But that’s not all. The German public have apparently taken a shine to cheering their national team’s quick downfall — and it’s leaving players perplexed.
Via ESPN’s Bundesliga commentator Derek Rae, a statement from Werder Bremen striker Niclas Füllkrug to Sport Bild after this year’s World Cup exit:
“I’m not afraid to make this statement & stand by it. It’s frightening how much resentment there was shown by the public in Germany towards the national team, after the loss vs. Japan & the group stage elimination. I find that a shame.”
Füllkrug wasn’t a part of the setup at the previous World Cup in 2018, but added that the bad atmosphere had already taken shape then — when Germany crashed out spectacularly as per-tournament favorites and defending champs. Füllkrug felt that even back then, “some wished bad things for the national team rather than success. I don’t know why that is. I can only say one thing. Everyone on the pitch is incredibly proud to wear the Germany shirt.”
With a home tournament coming up, there’s some hope for a different atmosphere by the 2024 EURO. Rae offered his insight as someone who covers the Bundesliga:
The hope is it might resemble 2006 (the summer fairytale) when Germany did better then expected & hosted the world superbly. Great memories for many. But work to do.— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) December 21, 2022
Where has the love gone? Here’s hoping they can feel some rekindled spirit two summers from now, especially after the unfortunate results of the last several campaigns.