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'We're back to square one' - Rudiger believes Germany are missing 'something dirty' after second consecutive World Cup group stage exit

13:37 GMT+3 02/12/2022
Antonio Rudiger Germany Japan World Cup 2022
Antonio Rudiger believes Germany were too ‘nice’ after being dumped out of the World Cup at the group stage for a second consecutive tournament.
  • Germany knocked out on goal difference
  • Rudiger believes team were too nice
  • Japan and Spain progressed to knockouts

WHAT HAPPENED? Despite coming from behind to beat Costa Rica 4-2 in the final group game, Japan’s shock victory over Spain saw Germany eliminated on goal difference. Defender Rudiger believes the German team boasts huge ability but is lacking some fundamentals and needed to be nastier to progress.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to German TV channel Sport1, the Real Madrid centre-back said: “We're back to square one, that's the hard reality! [We have] a lot of talent, all well and good, but there are other things that go into it. This greed, this something dirty, we miss that. We are a very, very nice team.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Germany lost their opening game to Japan and drew with Spain meaning their fate was out of their hands heading into the final group match with Costa Rica, and the win was not enough as the other results in the group went against them.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Rudiger will soon switch his attentions back to La Liga's title race with Real Madrid but a second group stage exit will hurt the Germans, who will be eager to make amends at Euro 2024.