‘Absolute nonsense’: Germany boss Hansi Flick blasts Bastian Schweinsteiger after pundit’s assessment of his side’s performance against Costa Rica, with the 2014 World Cup winner claiming ‘the responsibility lies with the players’
Hansi Flick quashed Bastian Schweinsteiger’s assessment of his Germany side’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 side’s shock group stage exit, before the ex-Bayern Munich coach insisted he was in fact to blame.
Despite defeating Costa Rica 4-2 in their final game of group E, Die Mannschaft ultimately were knocked out of the tournament on goal difference after Japan beat Spain 2-1 in the other big upset in the group.
Hansi Flick rubbished Bastian Schweinsteiger’s analysis of Germany’s shock group stage exit
Schweinsteiger was quick to lay into his former national side, after their limp exit at the group stage for the second World Cup in a row.
‘Hansi didn’t do that much wrong. The responsibility lies with the players,’ he claimed after the game for German broadcaster ARD.
‘I’m really disappointed and shocked at how it went. The appearance of the national team is not enough, that’s 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 is all up to us. If you look at the matches and the number of goals, it is our fault.
Germany were knocked out at the group stage for the second successive tournament
‘I am convinced we had possibilities 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 did not have a lot of time to train, but it is not down to that. We fulfilled our duty today and went off the pitch with a victory, but the result could have been better.’
Having led 1-0 at half-time Germany in fact slipped to a 2-1 deficit after a Manuel Neuer own goal in the 70th minute that would have seen both Costa Rica and Japan qualify from group E at the expense of favourites Spain and Germany.
Schweinsteiger claimed Germany’s performance at the Qatar World Cup ‘was not enough’
But despite scoring four goals on the night, the former Bayern and Manchester United midfielder believed that Germany still lacked a clinical cutting edge.
He added: ‘I’m disappointed and shocked with 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 naturally not alone in his criticism of the performance given the huge upset that sees the four-time winners crash out of the tournament far earlier than expected.
Fellow 2014 champion Sami Khedira echoed the sentiment, claiming: ‘I’m disappointed. I was optimistic, I admit that. But I’m shocked. Football is not just about playing, but also about mentality and attitude.’
Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira (front left) won the 2014 World Cup with Germany in Brazil