D.he national coach wore black. In keeping with the sad mood among the German national soccer team, Joachim Löw entered the podium in the base camp in Herzogenaurach with a dark hoodie on the last day of his time in the highest soccer coaching office in the republic at exactly 12.30 p.m. to take stock of the depressing end of the European championship . After the 2-0 draw at Wembley Stadium against England on Tuesday evening in London, the tournament ended after the round of 16 and with it the 15-year-old Löw era.
In the press conference, which he held together with Oliver Bierhoff, Director of the German Football Association (DFB), Löw took full responsibility for the failure, but also sees a positive outlook for the team. “I believe that this team and some of the players who will definitely be there for the next few years really have a very, very good future ahead of them and maybe also achieve the success they all want,” said the 61-year-old . “Of course, I also wish my successor Hansi Flick all the best and much success. My heart continues to beat black-red-gold. “
On this day, the time of Löw, who led the team to the world title in 2014, ends. The frustration on Wednesday afternoon was palpable. “I’m sorry that we disappointed our fans and didn’t spark the enthusiasm that we had planned before the tournament,” said Löw. “It is my responsibility and of course I also take responsibility for this departure without any ifs or buts. Therefore, it takes some time to really process this disappointment. I think it was 15 very long years for me with many beautiful moments and of course with disappointments. “
“The night was short”
Löw did not want to talk about the exact reasons for the end. “I am not able to go into detail now,” said the outgoing national coach. With the World Cup triumph, he himself took away many moments “that you don’t forget. I’m so grateful that I was able to experience that. ”After leaving London, however, the great frustration prevailed. “You also noticed with everyone that the night was short. Nobody could find peace in the night. The disappointment and dejection were huge. The players will also need a few days. “
Shortly before 1.00 a.m. on Wednesday the DFB charter plane landed back in Nuremberg. Löw was the first to leave the plane. On the tarmac at Nuremberg Airport, the players around captain Manuel Neuer boarded two team buses and drove on to nearby Herzogenaurach, escorted by the police. The EM quarters were reached at 1.30 a.m. During the course of Wednesday, the players left their quarters and took their early vacation. For them it will be back to their clubs soon. Loew said he had no plans for the future.
DFB director Bierhoff meanwhile wants to hold on to the high tournament demands despite the early failure again. “I cannot be satisfied that we are outsiders,” said the former national player in Herzogenaurach. The DFB selection have the “claim to always play at the front,” added the 53-year-old. In 2018, the German team under Löw had already been eliminated in the group stage as defending champions at the World Cup in Russia.
One now has the right to play a “sovereign qualification” for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, said Bierhoff. Flick’s task is to “build a team that has an identity”, demands the European champions from 1996. Bierhoff would like more continuity in the performances of the national team. In the end there were “always small steps backwards”, “we have to try to stop them,” he said. Flick was “given little time” for the rebuilding. But they want “to have a powerful team in Qatar”.
Löw also caught up with an old topic. He is firmly expecting a discussion with Mesut Özil. “The time will come when we will talk to each other again and meet again. At some point the day will come, ”said Löw. Özil resigned from the national team after the disputes over the controversial photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the subsequent failure of the World Cup in 2018. Among other things, he had accused the DFB officials of not having protected him from racist slurs. Löw later reported unsuccessful attempts to contact the 92-time national player, who now plays for Fenerbahce Istanbul.
It was “a great human disappointment” that he and Özil did not speak personally in Russia in the weeks after the World Cup three years ago, Löw now reported. “Of course Mesut was an incredibly important and great player for us, for our national team, for Germany. How many games can we remember, where he really showed his great skills and carried away and thrilled all the fans. ”Özil was a key player on the way to winning the joint title at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The day will come when everything will be put aside in a debate, said Löw.