Germany’s World Cup hopes have been dashed in a matter of hours with the Bundesliga side dropping out of the tournament after they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Russia.
It all started when Bayern Munich pulled out of a meeting with the Russians in Sochi in March, with the German side not having been invited.
That’s when a letter arrived from the Russian Football Union (RFU) with the news that the club was not invited to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“The RFU has informed the club that it will not send them a team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, despite the club being invited by the Russian Federation and participating in the World Cup,” the letter read.
“We therefore request the RFU to withdraw their invitation to the 2019 World Cup.”
That’s when the German team found themselves on the brink of elimination.
The Germans had just won a thrilling 2-0 victory over their neighbours, in a tournament they won via extra time in the first leg of their quarterfinal against France.
That’s the kind of result the Germans expected to see, but they were already looking to the future with their World Cup campaign.
The Bundesliga side were looking to repeat the form of a season they won in 2014-15 and were looking for something similar to that.
They were one of the few teams in the world to make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League and were the only side to do so in their first ever European Championship.
They had been one of those teams that had come out of nowhere in their European campaigns.
But with the arrival of Thomas Muller in the summer, things looked very different.
A year earlier, they had been knocked out of Europe by Juventus, while Bayern were in the Europa League quarter-finals, a year after they had finished runners-up to Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
Now, things were looking up for them, but not for the German fans.
“They have never been in the Champions league, and they have not qualified for the Europa league, but this time it’s not like that,” Thomas Muller said after Bayern’s 1-0 defeat to Boraspor in the Turkish Super Lig.
“I hope they will still win it because they have been very good in the league, they have improved every year.
They have won it twice, and we have been one away from winning it again.””
We’ve always been one step ahead of them.
We are one step away from being champions.””
This is not only the last match, but also the last chance to make a difference, but to win it,” Muller added.
It would have been a very different story had they been invited to play.
“For me it’s been a really tough year, and it has been tough for the whole family, because I’ve had a lot of family and friends killed.
But it’s just about playing our best football, and that’s what we need to do.”