‘I have to keep playing until I’m 45’ – Kimmich pessimistic about Germany’s trophy chances

While saddened by Germany’s terrible show at the 2022 World Cup, Joshua Kimmich joked that he might have to play until age 45 to lift an international trophy.

Germany, who were eliminated in the group stage in Russia 2018 and placed in the last 16 to England at Euro 2020, arrived in Qatar amid a dismal tournament showdown.

Hansi Flick’s team was left with a familiar sense of slump as they failed to recover after their shocking defeat to Japan in the opening match of Group E and missed a spot in the round of 16 despite taking four points from their game against Spain and Costa Rica.

Bayern Munich midfielder Kimmich has been a regular at four major tournaments in Germany and his shortcomings have given him a “bitter” taste.

Kimmich returned to Doha for mid-season training camp with Bayern and asked at a press conference about Germany’s chances of winning a big trophy as they look forward to hosting Euro 2024: I’m 45, then hopefully we will be.”

Evaluating Germany’s departure from the World Cup, the 27-year-old player said: “We had big goals and we wanted to achieve something.

“In the end we were knocked out early again. Euro after 2018 and now another tournament like this, it’s very painful.

“You don’t have a lot of chances with the national team, so it’s not something you can easily forget and move on because that’s what happened.”

Kimmich believes Germany could have grown in the tournament had they exited their group, but acknowledges that other sides – including eventual champion Argentina – came to Qatar in better form.

“I thought a lot of things were not going well with our team in 2018 as well. Against England [at Euro 2020]It felt like a 50-50 game,” Kimmich said.

“I don’t want to say that everything was great last year but in the end it cost us 30 minutes of the tournament against Japan. If we had a draw there we would have definitely moved on.

“We lacked confidence, especially when looking at other teams. Italy had a long streak before the Euro, as did Argentina. [before the World Cup].

“This is something we should aim for. We can’t start with that once the tournament starts. We have to start this in March.

“We have to win our games, gain self-confidence and gain some self-understanding in our processes. Then we have to carry that on the field and be able to rely on that.”

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