Bastian Schweinsteiger believes the influence of Pep Guardiola has inadvertently led to Germany’s recent decline.
Since winning its fourth World Cup title in 2014 the European powerhouse has struggled at various tournaments and heads into hosting Euro 2024 with lingering questions as well as boasting poor form.
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Schweinsteiger, part of that successful team, has seen group stage exits at Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 plus a Round of 16 elimination at the pan-European 2020 Championship.
In finding a reason behind this sharp descent the former Bayern Munich midfielder, who played 64 matches under Guardiola, feels his arrival in 2013 is partly to blame.
“When Pep Guardiola joined Bayern Munich, when he came to the country, everyone believed we have to play this kind of football, like short passes and everything. We were kind of losing our values,” he told Talksport.
“I think most of the other countries were looking at Germany as a fighter, we can run until the end and everything. The strengths got lost through the last seven, eight years. We forgot about that and were more focused on playing the ball nicely to each other. That’s one of the reasons.”
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— DFB-Team (@DFB_Team) June 20, 2023
Schweinsteiger’s comments arrive on the back of disappointing performances this summer. Germany suffered back-to-back losses against Colombia and Poland which came on the heels of a 3-3 draw with Ukraine.
Current head coach Hansi Flick, who not long ago guided Bayern to a continental treble, boasts the second-worst record as Germany’s manager having won just 12 of his 24 matches in charge while suffering five losses.