RANKINGS | Grading Germany’s World Cup squad

Following a defeat against Costa Rica on Thursday night, Germany’s World Cup campaign came to an end at the group stages in successive tournaments. They opened the group with a 2-1 defeat to Japan before drawing 1-1 with Spain. Despite beating Costa Rica 4-2, Japan beating Spain in the corresponding fixture resulted in their exit.

Here’s how GGFN graded Germany’s performance

A+

No one 

A

Jamal Musiala – The 19-year-old was Germany’s best player by far. He was central to everything they did attack-wise during the tournament, even providing an assist for Niclas Füllkrug’s equaliser against Spain. The issue for Musiala was he was unable to find the back of the net and often at times would do too much with the ball resulting in him being tackled or running out of space.

B

Niclas Füllkrug – In his debut tournament for Germany, the striker scored twice, finishing joint-top as the Die Mannschaft’s top goalscorer. Füllkrug’s efforts meant he deserved a starting place for Germany, but Hansi Flick never chose the Werder Bremen striker. The 29-year-old would of helped the German attack a lot more with his presence at the front. 

B-

Antonio Rüdiger – Germany’s best player defensively. Showcased his pace against Japan and displayed an excellent performance against Spain. At Euro 2024, Flick, if still in charge, must persist with Rüdiger and Nico Schlotterbeck, dropping Niklas Süle, a player Matthias Ginter should be ahead of, to the bench.

Joshua Kimmich – Started in central-midfield alongside different partners against Japan and Spain. Ilkay Gündogan vs Japan and Bayern Munich teammate Leon Goretzka against Spain. In their final game against Costa Rica, Kimmich played at right-back. Described Germany’s elimination as “the worst day of his career.” – Has to take on more responsibility.

C+

Kai Havertz – Was poor against Japan and Spain but redeemed himself with two goals against Costa Rica – his efforts were not good enough due to the results elsewhere.

Serge Gnabry – Always looks to progress the ball but like Germany as a whole, failed to convert several chances.

Manuel Neuer – Made several key saves to keep Germany ahead or in games but several errors also cost him, which resulted in talk about whether he should be number one still, with a possible retirement also on the cards.

C

David Raum, Leroy Sané, Leon Goretzka.

C-

Nico Schlotterbeck – His rashness was shown in the one game he started against Japan. Schlotterbeck has the potential to be a great defender there is no denying it but right now he is too rash and makes silly mistakes. 

Ilkay Gùndogan – Often looked out of sorts for Germany. Another player unlikely to play a tournament again for Germany?

D

Thilo Kehrer and Lukas Klostermann – Right-back has been and still is a problem for Germany and both of these players showed that they are not fit to play in that position. In his 70 minutes against Spain, Kehrer looked poor and Klostermann struggled to be effective against Costa Rica, especially with his lack of football. 

Thomas Müller – A sad way to likely end his Germany career, Müller was very rarely able to impact games as he was used out of position as a number nine and this was shown. Like Klostermann, Müller had also experienced a lack of football going into the tournament, most likely resulting in his poor performances.

Ungradable

Youssoufa Moukoko, Mario Götze, Jonas Hofmann and Matthias Ginter- All made brief appearances for Germany at the end of games for Germany so it is hard to give them a grade. 

GGFN | Jack Meenan

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