Teary Nagelsmann: No Germany restart after exit

Germany will not undergo any major overhaul after their Euro 2024 quarterfinal exit but will be strengthened and improved, coach Julian Nagelsmann said on Saturday.

The Germans played their most exciting tournament in at least eight years, losing in extra time to title contenders Spain on Friday, after years of bad tournament performances under Nagelsmann’s predecessors.

“I have not been to another tournament but I was told that it was not always the case that every player left the camp with tears in their eyes after six weeks together,” Nagelsmann, wiping away his own tears and with his voice breaking, told a news conference.

“We will try to reinforce things now and not launch a completely new start. The Nations League matches [from September onwards] will be used so that we develop further.”

Germany have not won a major title in a decade and will have to wait at least two more years for the 2026 World Cup before launching another bid for a trophy.

But their overall performances did trigger widespread support across the country, pushing their 2018 and 2022 World Cup first-round exits well into the background.

Following their Euro exit, midfielder Toni Kroos is retiring while several others, including Thomas Müller and Manuel Neuer, are widely expected to end their international careers.

“We are still a work in progress and that is normal after the previous years,” Nagelsmann, who took over in September last year, said. “We have a squad of 26, 27, 28 players who can still play at the World Cup.

“We will miss one pillar in Toni Kroos and let us see whether others will follow.

“There is no point in undergoing any major overhaul because we have a very good climate and that is a good foundation to build on. My job will continue the way it started.”

Several young players, including Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala, look ready to step into leadership roles and Nagelsmann said he was confident that, with the support of fans, the national team would only keep improving.

“I always said we needed the fans united behind us after the bad previous tournaments. We had a vision and belief we could do some good things. I would have loved to give the fans more, to win the title.

“I wish for this country to be better together, united and for people to help each other out more. We should not always fall into sadness and dreariness where everything is grey. I think we managed that in that small part that is football.

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