Belgium and Germany eliminated, the 2022 World Cup continues to surprise

Thunderbolt on planet football. Respectively ranked 2nd and 11th in the FIFA rankings, Belgium, third in the last world in 2018, and Germany, world champion in 2014, will not see the round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar. At the heart of these early eliminations that defy predictions hides a common root: the failed mix of different generations.

Belgium and its “too old” players

Three small games and then go away. All with a bang. If the comparison with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the French team may seem daring, there are similarities. The Belgian selection, semi-finalist of the last Russian World Cup, went through the back door and left Qatar in the group stages, after its draw against Croatia (0-0). The selection pays for its failed start to the World Cup, after a narrow victory against Canada (1-0) and a crushing defeat against Morocco (2-0).

Beyond the poor sporting performance, the Red Devils have been undermined by internal conflicts, symbol of a golden generation at the end of the cycle. The Belgian metronome, Kevin de Bruyne, distinguished himself, at the end of the match against Morocco, with a resounding declaration, stipulating that his selection was not capable of winning a World Cup because the players were “too old”. The next day, the Belgian press relayed that in the locker room a fight had broken out between the latter and one of his teammates, veteran Jan Vertonghen (35), who had obviously had little taste for the words of his compatriot.

Bad results, murderous statements, tensions in the locker room… All the ingredients for an early exit from the road were there. The fate of the coach, the Spaniard Roberto Martinez is already sealed: the latter resigned this Thursday, December 1st.

Germany and the heavy heritage

Another major nation eliminated, Germany. The Mannschaft no longer had its destiny in hand since its inaugural defeat against Japan (2-1). In fact, the unexpected victory of the same Japan against Spain, obtained with the same score and with a disputed second goal, eliminated them, despite the victory of the Germans against the Costa Ricans (4-2). Spain, she is doing, leaving her Germanic rival on the sidelines.

For the 2014 world champion, the blow is hard. This second consecutive elimination from the group stages of a World Cup, after 2018, is a “absolute disaster” who “hurts unbelievably”acknowledged striker Thomas Müller after a meeting led by French referee Stéphanie Frappart, the first woman to lead a men’s World Cup match.

Less than two years before organizing Euro 2024, the German selection must transform. An operation already launched by coach Hans-Dieter Flick who took over the reins of the selection in August 2021, after fifteen years spent under the leadership of Joachim Löw. By no longer selecting certain 2014 world champions, the new coach wanted to make way for a whole new generation of talent.

But the method proved unconvincing, forcing him to review his copy during complicated playoffs. After three years without selection, Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels were recalled. Germany qualifies but does not wipe the doubts. Two generations, the veterans and the youngsters, must learn to play together but cannot find the level displayed by the Mannschaft during the Brazilian World Cup.

Realistically, Thomas Müller mentioned, at the end of the match against Costa Rica, his possible end to his international career: “For me, it’s an absolute disaster, if it were to be my last game. It hurts incredibly, because our result could have been enough. We have a feeling of helplessness. » Evasive, the emblematic striker could not hide a touch of emotion: “I did it with love (wearing the jersey of the selection), but for the rest I must first think. »

An emotion shared by football fans, who see two great nations fall prematurely. The two behemoths will have two years to rebuild, before the Euro. Until then, this amazing Qatari World Cup should hold other surprises.



2022 World Cup results: Japan and Spain qualify, Germany eliminated

► Spain trembles and loses against Japan (2-1), both qualified

Huge surprise Thursday evening December 1 at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha where Japan beat Spain (2-1) and validated their ticket to the round of 16 of the World Cup with their opponent of the day.

Scared to death for Spain! At ease after Alvaro Morata’s quick header from Alvaro Morata in the 12th minute, La Roja were taken aback when they returned from the locker room by a transfigured Japan who scored two goals in three minutes to seal their qualification for the round of 16. where he will face the reigning vice-world champions Croatia on Monday.

Flamboyant against Costa Rica (7-0) at the start, then hung by Germany (1-1) on Sunday, Spain plunged as the games went on until they hit rock bottom in the second period on Sunday… but ended up saving his place in eighth in suffering. She will meet Morocco, Canada’s evening killer (2-1), on Tuesday.

► Germany beat Costa Rica 4-2, both countries eliminated

Germany, fallen giants of football, left the World Cup by the back door, despite a 4-2 victory against Costa Rica insufficient to open the way to the knockout stages.

The Germans would have been eliminated anyway by the victory of Japan against the Spaniards (2-1). They actually lost their World Cup in the first game, with their loss to the “Samurai Blue” (2-1).

This elimination is, for the quadruple world champions, an earthquake of gigantic magnitude. Since its return to the international scene in 1954, Germany had been the most regular nation in the World Cup, even more than Brazil: in sixteen tournaments until 2014, the Mannschaft collected four titles, as many lost finals , and four more semi-finals and four quarter-finals.