THE furious German press criticized Hansi Flick and his “shameful disgrace” of a team after their shocking World Cup exit.
Four years ago, the 2014 world champions in Russia were dumped in the group stage.
And history repeated itself on Thursday night as Team DFB finished third in Group E – behind Spain on goal difference.
But Japan’s victory over Spain meant Flick’s side could pack their bags and fly home.
And ready and waiting for them when they land will be a smoking German public and media.
In addition to Bild’s scathing assessment of “shameful disgrace”, the newspaper used the headline “who Wembley” – “like Wembley” – in reference to the controversial Japanese winner which resembled Geoff Hurst’s goal in the 1966 final.
However, England fans were quick to remind their rivals of the Frank Lampard’s ghost goal from 2010 as they celebrated the demise of Germany.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung lashed out: “German football is at an all-time low again, four years after a historic first-round exit.”
The morning mails of Hamburg and Dresden headlined “Katarstrophe”, referring to the World Cup take place in Qatar.
Die Welt said: “Germany is no longer a tournament team. A fundamental change is needed to get out of this rut.”
FAZ added: “It has been going downhill since winning the 2014 World Cup. The return to the top of the world is just an illusion for the DFB team.”
And the Bavarian Football Works demanded that Flick resign if he has “any dignity”.
Legendary former captain Lothar Matthaus added: “It was the defense, which was too easy for the opponent, against Japan, also against Costa Rica. Don’t be surprised if you make such mistakes.”
“It was also because of capitalizing on opportunities. That was bad luck, but also inability. Many more goals could have been scored.”
National team director Oliver Bierhoff confessed that Germany “lacks the efficiency we always had” and Bastian Schweinsteiger was highly critical of Germany’s defence.
The ex-Manchester United man stated: “Very, very bad. In defense we only have one player who plays at a high level and that is Toni Rüdiger. The others – that is normal Bundesliga level and we need to get back to a good level.” defense.”
Sami Khedira described using Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka as a “gamble” – but both he and Thomas Hitzlsperger want Flick to stay on as boss.
Hitzlsperger said, “It was his first major tournament with primary responsibility.
“Are we really that good? Do we really have such great players?
“He must be given the opportunity to learn from these mistakes, which are now coming to light in the analysis.
“I think it is absolute nonsense to throw the coach out now.”
Bayern Munich and German ace Joshua Kimmich were devastated by his side’s early departure.
He said: “For me personally, this is the worst day of my career.
“I’m afraid I’m going to fall into a hole!
“It makes you think, these failures are connected to my person.
“We messed up in 2018, then we blew up the European Championship last year.”
Teammate Antonio Rüdiger was equally hurt: “We’re back to zero, that’s the harsh reality.
“A lot of talent, all nice and nice, but there are other things.
“That last bit of greed, that something dirty, that’s what we’re missing. We’re a very, very nice team.”