Germany vs. Costa Rica: individual criticism of the DFB-Elf – only one is better than grade 4

Dhe team of Hansi Flick flies out of the tournament despite a 4:2 win against Costa Rica and experiences the next World Cup debacle after 2018. The DFB team in the individual review.

Manuel Neuer: In the first two group games, the captain conceded two goals with his team. That evening in the first half not even a shot on his goal. Shortly before half-time, he prevented the 1-1 with a reflex when Keysher Fuller shot, which he deflected over the crossbar. It was the 36-year-old’s 19th World Cup game, making Neuer the sole record goalkeeper at World Cups (Sepp Maier and Brazilian Claudio Taffarel each trailing behind with 18 games). In the second half he saved the Costa Ricans’ shot before the 1-1, but in the middle where Yeltsin Tejeda dusted. He also didn’t look good when he conceded the second goal, Fifa even counted it as an own goal. Note: 4

Joshua Kimmich: His position in the starting eleven was a surprise: Instead of playing in central midfield as usual, national coach Hansi Flick offered him as a right-back. In a back four of the national team, Kimmich last took over this part at the 2018 World Cup, in the 0: 2 in the last group game against South Korea. The idea: Kimmich should cause danger with flanks. Some came dangerously, but Kimmich also played a bad pass, in the first half his shot went wide of the goal. In the second half he played in central midfield, prepared Kai Havertz to make it 2-2 with a header and had many offensive actions in the final phase. He couldn’t organize the German game either, his corner balls didn’t bring enough danger. Note: 5

Niklas Sule: In the central defense of the defensive playing opponent initially rarely required. Shortly before the half-time break, he hit the ball and it became dangerous. Süle was lucky that Costa Rica didn’t take advantage of this mistake. Radiated far too little security. Before the 1:2 he lost like Kai Havertz a decisive header duel. A bitter tournament for him. Note: 5

Niklas Süle even ran after Costa Rica


Antonio Rudiger: The defense chief had little to do for a long time, acted confidently. With his hair-raising mistake in the 43rd minute, he gave Costa Rica a huge chance to equalize. Too passive before the 1:1 in a duel. Had a chance to make it 2-1 in the middle of the second half after a cross from David Raum, but missed the goal. Still the best German defender over all three group games, but far below his top level this evening. In the final phase with weak attempts in the offensive. Note: 5

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David Room: As a left-back, he had nothing to defend for a long time – and he had plenty of room to move forward. He used them, like before Serge Gnabrys made it 1-0, which he prepared with a precise cross. Shot corner kicks from the left. Before Fuller’s goal chance, like Rüdiger, he made a serious mistake. And before the 1:1 not as fast as goalscorer Yeltsin Tejeda, who immediately rushed to the ball and pushed in. Note: 5 From the 65th minute: Mario Götze (without a note)

Leon Goretzka: Demanded without his neighbor Kimmich in central midfield. Not as often on the ball as usual. Engaged in the duels, but could not set any accents. Flick replaced him in the second half, the reason: muscular problems. Note: 5

Leon Goretzka was not in the condition for a World Cup

Leon Goretzka was not in the condition for a World Cup

Source: dpa/Christian Charisius

Lukas Klostermann: From the 46th minute of the game. Assumed the post of right-back. And went down defensively in the second half. Weak in the duels, no factor up front. Note: 5

Ilkay Gundogan: The Manchester City captain had the game ahead of him again this time after playing as a ‘ten’ against Spain. Distributed the ball and won some tackles. Overall, however, too few impulses and goal danger. He, too, failed to bring stability to this team. Note: 4

Niclas jug: From the 55th minute of the game. Met again as a joker to make it 4:2. Could have made it 5-2 with a header. There is no German winner at this desolate World Cup. If you had to name one, it would be him. The Werder Bremen striker played in a major tournament for the first time and impressed. Note: 2

Serge Gnabry: Although FC Bayern’s attacking star lacked efficiency and accuracy in the first two games, Flick relied on him again from the start. That paid off: Gnabry headed the 1-0 in the tenth minute of the game. It was his 21st international goal, his first World Cup goal and also his first headed goal in the national jersey. He played on the left flank and kept finding gaps between the many defending Costa Rican players. Shortly before half-time he shot just wide of the far post, shortly before the end his cross led to Kai Havertz making it 3-2. Note: 4

Jamal Musiala: The key player in the German offensive: In the second minute he shot on goal, Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas deflected the ball to a corner. A little later, the 19-year-old let six opponents get out, and in the 36th minute he shot wide of the goal. Extremely strong in dribbling, but not effective enough in the finish. In the second half he hit the post twice and lost the ball once. In added time he had a great chance to make it 5:2. There was nothing countable, but the youngest German on the field was also the most dangerous. He initiated the attacks and kept demanding the ball. Musiala is the future of this team. Note: 4

Leroy Sané: His first game at this World Cup from the start. Before the Spain game, Flick had long considered letting him start, but then only came on as a substitute. Against Costa Rica, Sané played on the right flank and repeatedly caused danger, shooting over the goal in the 45th minute. Prepared the 4:2 Niclas Füllkrugs. Overall too ineffective. Note: 5

Thomas Müller hints at his retirement from the national team after the World Cup

Thomas Müller hints at his retirement from the national team after the World Cup


Thomas Müller: The 19th World Cup game for the 2014 world champion, his 121st game for Germany – now tied with Bastian Schweinsteiger in fourth place in the list of record national players of the DFB. Flick did without the Spain goalscorer Niclas Füllkrug and let Müller act at the top. The veteran should have made it 1-0 in the eighth minute, but headed wide after a cross from Joshua Kimmich. This diving header was Müller’s first shot on goal in the tournament. Try everything and fought, but it wasn’t his game and his tournament. Haven’t been involved in a goal for a total of six World Cup games – in the first twelve World Cup games there were still 18 points scored. Note: 5 From the 65th minute: Kai Havertz (without a note).



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