Jurgen Klinsmann has predicted Germany to “go home” if they don’t pull off a miraculous victory against Spain in the World Cup.
Hansi Flick’s side were surprisingly beaten by Japan in their opening fixture in Qatar.
They took the lead courtesy of an Ilkay Gundogan penalty, but two second-half goals from Japan saw them take all three points.
Spain battered Costa Rica 7-0 in the other match in Group E.
And next up for Germany is La Roja on Sunday in what promises to be a very tough match.
Defeat against the Spaniards will leave Flick and his players hoping for a Costa Rica victory against Japan.
A Germany win would blow the group wide open, but given their performance and how impressive Spain looked on matchday one, that seems unlikely.
And former Germany striker Klinsmann has reacted to the Japan result, saying they made need to pull off a “miracle” against Spain.
Klinsmann was obviously disappointed by the result and performance against Japan.
“Obviously it is hugely, hugely disappointing for us Germans,” he told BBC.
“The overall performance was just not good enough, it was just not what we expected after the disaster in Russia when they went home in the group stage.
“Our hope was that they showed the right spirit, that they showed the right tempo, the right energy and even when they were leading 1-0, I never had the feeling they would put it up into a higher gear.
“England did [against Iran] – they scored one goal, they wanted the second, third, fourth one…. They were happy with the first one and they thought ‘we’re going to cruise’ but Japan punished them.
“Japan played really poor in the first half but we let them back into the game. They were feisty, full of energy and they deserved to win.
“But now Germany have their backs against the wall and if they are not pulling out a miracle against Spain and beat Spain, they might go home.”
Germany were better than Japan in the first half of their loss, but the Asian nation were inspired by their substitutes.
They looked rather toothless in attack with Kai Havertz leading the line.
The Chelsea man is not a natural No. 9 and it was clear to see against Japan.
Havertz was bought by the Blues for around £72million from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020 and had a difficult first season, though all was forgotten and forgiven after he scored the winner in the Champions League final.
You get the impression that he would be criticised a bit more if he hadn’t scored that hugely important goal to crown the London club champions of Europe.
It is definitely a transfer that hasn’t worked out so far, and he should probably be played in a different position for club and country if he is to reach his potential.
At the age of 23, time is on his side, however.