‘Absolute nonsense’: Germany boss Hansi Flick blasts Bastian Schweinsteiger after pundit’s assessment of team’s performance against Costa Rica, with 2014 World Cup champion claiming ‘responsibility lies with the players’
Hansi Flick dismissed Bastian Schweinsteiger’s assessment of his Germany team’s performance against Costa Rica on Thursday night, calling it “absolute nonsense”.
The former World Cup-winning midfielder had claimed that Flick bore little responsibility for the national team’s shock exit from the group stage, before the ex-Bayern Munich coach insisted that he was indeed to blame.
Despite defeating Costa Rica 4-2 in their final Group E match, die Mannschaft were eventually knocked out of the tournament on goal difference after Japan beat Spain 2-1 in the other major upset of the group.
Hansi Flick spoiled Bastian Schweinsteiger’s analysis of Germany’s shock exit from the group stage
Schweinsteiger was quick to settle into his former national side, following their lackluster exit in the group stage for the second consecutive World Cup.
“Hansi didn’t do much wrong. The responsibility lies with the players, he claimed after the match for the German broadcaster ARD.
“I’m really disappointed and shocked at how it went. The appearance of the national team is not enough, it is not enough.
“We invited the opponent. The fundamental problem is that we often invite the opponent.’
But Flick quickly described his analysis as “absolute nonsense”, as well as claiming: “I don’t care about other teams because it’s all up to us.” If you look at the matches and the number of goals, it is our fault.
Germany were knocked out in the group stage for the second consecutive tournament
“I am convinced that we had opportunities and chances in the (last) match against Spain to win, but you have to take those chances and score, and then it would have been a different situation for us.
“There are so many reasons (for Germany’s exit), but I am not looking to find excuses. We didn’t have much time to train, but there’s no need for that. We fulfilled our duty today and left the track with a win, but the result could have been better.’
After leading 1-0 at half-time, Germany actually fell to a 2-1 deficit after a Manuel Neuer own goal in the 70th minute would have seen both Costa Rica and Japan qualify from Group E at the expense of favorites Spain and Germany. .
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But despite scoring four goals on the night, the former Bayern and Manchester United midfielder believed Germany still lacked a clinical edge.
He added: “I’m disappointed and shocked at how this went today. The national team did too little.
“It’s not good enough. Statistics don’t matter in the end. You have to take your opponent out of the game.’
Schweinsteiger was of course not alone in his criticism of the performance given the huge upset that saw the four-time winners exit the tournament far earlier than expected.
Fellow 2014 champion Sami Khedira echoed the sentiment, claiming: ‘I’m disappointed. I was optimistic, I admit. But I am shocked. Football is not only about playing, but also about mentality and attitude.’
Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira (front left) won the 2014 World Cup with Germany in Brazil