Joshua Kimmich joked he may have to play until the age of 45 to lift an international trophy as he rued Germany’s dire showing at the 2022 World Cup.
Having been eliminated in the group stage at Russia 2018 and fallen to England in the last 16 at Euro 2020, Germany arrived in Qatar in the midst of a dismal run of tournament showings.
Hansi Flick’s side were left with a familiar sinking feeling as they failed to recover from a shock defeat to Japan in their Group E opener, missing out on a place in the round of 16 despite taking four points from games against Spain and Costa Rica.
Bayern Munich midfielder Kimmich has now been a Germany regular at four major tournaments, and their shortcomings have left him with a “bitter” taste.
Kimmich is back in Doha for a mid-season training camp with Bayern, and asked in a press conference about Germany’s chances of winning a major trophy as they look ahead to hosting Euro 2024, he said: “I just have to keep playing until I’m 45, then we will, hopefully.”
Reflecting on Germany’s World Cup exit, the 27-year-old added: “We had big objectives and wanted to reach something.
“Eventually, we got knocked out early again. After 2018, the Euros and now another tournament like this, it is very bitter.
“You don’t get that many chances with the national team, so this is not something you can just easily forget and move on from because it is what it is.”
Kimmich believes Germany could have grown into the tournament had they qualified from their group, but he acknowledges other sides – including eventual champions Argentina – arrived in Qatar in better form.
“I thought that in 2018, many things weren’t working, also internally on our team. Against England [at Euro 2020], it felt like a 50-50 game,” Kimmich said.
“Last year, I don’t want to say everything was great but in the end, those 30 minutes against Japan cost us the tournament. If we had drawn there, we would definitely have progressed.
“We were also missing self-confidence, especially when I look at other teams. Italy before the Euros had a long streak of unbeaten games, Argentina as well [before the World Cup].
“This is something we have to aim for. We can’t just start with that once the tournament starts. We should start that in March.
“We have to win our games, gain self-confidence and gain some self-understanding for our processes. Then we have to also bring that to the pitch and be able to rely on that.”
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