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Flick: German football needs rapid overhaul after World Cup failure

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Al Khor, Qatar, Dec 1, 2022 (AFP) - Coach Hansi Flick called for urgent changes to Germany's football youth development, after the "huge disappointment" of elimination at the group stage for the second World Cup in a row.

Despite beating Costa Rica 4-2 on Thursday, Germany were dumped out on goal difference after Japan pulled off a shock 2-1 defeat of Spain in the group's other game on a nailbiting night in Qatar.

Prior to the match, 1990 World Cup winner and former Germany manager Jurgen Klinsmann said another group stage elimination would be "ten times more of a disaster" than the side's early exit from Russia four years ago.

After Klinsmann's worst fears came true, Flick said Germany needed significant changes to its junior development system to remain competitive with other nations.

Flick, who took over from Joachim Loew after the European Championship last year, said Germany needed to look to other countries for ways to improve, singling out Spain.

Acknowledging that there was "huge disappointment" in the dressing room, Flick said: "We have players who play with top clubs and we do have the quality (but) I believe that for the future of German football, we need to do things differently in training."

"For years we have been talking about new goalkeepers, new wing backs, but what was always good (in the past) is that we could defend well - these elements are things we need.

"We need the basics. Even though Spain lost, we should look at Spain. Spain are very good in defence, they focus on the training of younger players and they know their attacks well."

With Germany hosting the next Euro in 2024, Flick also suggested the side needed to pursue a generational change.

"It will be very important to focus on the new generation of footballers," he said.

"There are good players for the future, but for the next ten years, it is very important that we make the right steps now"

Flick pointed to 19-year-old midfielder Jamal Musiala -- who came through the English football development system before switching to Germany in 2021 -- saying "it is just unfortunate a player like that cannot stay in the tournament."

"He's fantastic. His skills in the tackles, the one-on-ones - he is outstanding."

Flick said wanted to stay on as head coach and lead Germany into their home European Championship, but admitted "it won't be up to me."

"From my side, there is no reason not to continue.

"I enjoy it, we have good players coming through," the 57-year-old coach said.

"My coaching team and I did a good job - we prepared the team well. But it wasn't enough."

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