Germany Knocked Out of World Cup
For the second time in a row, the German soccer team has to leave the World Cup before the knock-out phase. Some Germans may equate the loss with the end of the world. They take great pride in their soccer—and until recently had reason to do so. They have been world champions four times—only Brazil has won more. But in the last four years, this pride has vanished. Looking at German politics, social life and military power, there is not much Germans can currently take pride in.
Three tournaments in a row in which we have not achieved anything. The soccer world used to tremble before us. We were praised as a “tournament team.” Now Germany is just a soccer dwarf.
—Bild, Germany’s most popular newspaper
A “moral” force: In the lead-up to the World Cup, the German team and media presented themselves as a superior moral force obligated to teach the hosting nation lessons about human rights and lgbtq. Now many in Germany think they should have focused on playing soccer instead.
- Not only did they fail in soccer, they also failed at “converting” Qatar. Before the opening game against Japan, the German team demonstratively put their hands over their mouths in protest against Qatar’s suppression of free speech. Some criticized this because the team didn’t dare to speak out. Others saw it as disrespectful. Qatari broadcaster Al-Kass ridiculed the German team after their knock-out by waving goodbye covering their mouths.
The team’s performance is an ideal reflection of the state of this country.
—Joachim Steinhöfel, German television presenter, radio host and lawyer
Attitude instead of performance, double standards instead of morals, gestures instead of deeds, searching for culprits instead of self-criticism: The German Football Association’s 11 is a mirror image of what is happening to our country. We, too, are being eliminated. Out of the league of prosperous, liberal countries. So sad!
—Boris Reitschuster, German journalist and author
Soccer in prophecy: Germany is a descendant of the ancient Assyrian empire and the focal point of many prophecies (read “The Remarkable Identity of the German People”). Ezekiel 23:12 calls the Assyrians “captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men.” That’s also how Germany has often seen itself. While Germans could usually at least take pride in soccer, the recent disappointment will cause them to look to a leader that promises change.