Germany’s World Cup title defense came crashing down in the most inglorious fashion imaginable on Wednesday.
Die Mannschaft finished rock bottom of Group F after being beaten 2-0 by a South Korean side that had already effectively been eliminated from the tournament. Joachim Low’s team had opened its tournament by getting played off the park by Mexico and just barely managed a win in its next game against Sweden.
It’s a far cry from four years ago when the Germans handed host nation Brazil the most humiliating defeat in World Cup history on its way to winning the trophy for the first time since 1990.
In the wake of that defeat, German newspaper Bild ran a cover photo of a buoyant Toni Kroos being hefted aloft by fellow midfielder Sami Khedira as striker Miraslov Klose looked on. In the upper corner of the photo was the score from the match that ended Brazil’s hopes of winning the World Cup on home soil in spectacular fashion: 7-1.
The two-word headline that was splashed across the page, “Ohne Worte!”
Translation: No words.
In the wake of yesterday’s defeat and the team’s humiliating exit from the tournament, Bild decided to serve up the same headline, apparently along with a generous side of schadenfreude.
Kroos is once again the player pictured in the photo, although instead of being held joyously aloft by a teammate, he’s standing on his own, hands on hips, looking utterly dejected. The number in the upper right corner a reflection of the team’s meek capitulation against a South Korean team in a match that should’ve been a routine Germany win: 0-2.
Although Germany fell well short in its World Cup title defense this summer in Russia, it did make history of a sort. Russia 2018 represented the first time in the history of Germany’s participation in the World Cup that it failed to advance out of its group.
More World Cup on Yahoo Sports:
• Why World Cup champs have flopped so miserably four years later
• Brazil wins Group E, deepens World Cup bracket imbalance
• Germany crashes out of World Cup with loss to South Korea
• Mexicans celebrated South Korea’s win by carrying Koreans on their shoulders