German soccer seems to be undergoing a very difficult phase. After the senior national team failed to advance beyond the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the first time in its post WWII history, it followed that up with relegation from League A in the UEFA Nations League. Yet, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.
After the first ever all-German final of the UEFA Champions League in 2013, Bundesliga clubs began to struggle again in European competitions. This season, that downward trend has finally started to reverse.
Two of the three Bundesliga teams involved in the UEFA Europa League have booked their tickets for the next round with two matches to spare. In the Champions League, three out of four of their teams are closing in on the Round of 16. This may be either a temporary spark, or a real trend reversal.
Furthermore, Germany’s Under-21 national team has won its version of the EURO in 2017 and still go in as one of the favorites to defend their title in the 2019 edition of the tournament, that takes place every two years, after a strong qualifying campaign.
German soccer has clearly gone through bigger crises than the current one. Particularly after the senior national team crashed out at the group stage of EURO 2000 and the association remade its youth infrastructure. The benefits of those reforms created the 2014 World Cup champions.
It is time to once again remake Germany’s national teams from the bottom up. For the soccer powers around the world, it is beneficial to have a crisis every now and then. That is because failure alone forces them to make strong changes to their system.
Germany has enjoyed one success after another in national team play and has made the mistake to think that the good times will never end. Now that they must regroup, they will come back stronger than before.