Joshua Kimmich will likely be crucial when Germany host the European Championships in 2024, but he is not hopeful regarding their chances.
Joshua Kimmich joked he may have to play until the age of 45 to lift an international trophy as he rued Germany’s dire showing at the 2022 World Cup.
Germany, who were knocked out in the group stage at Russia 2018 and lost to England in the last 16 at Euro 2020, arrived in Qatar amid a dismal run of tournament performances.
Hansi Flick’s side were left with a familiar sinking feeling as they failed to recover from a shock defeat to Japan in their Group E opener and missed out on a place in the last 16 despite picking up four points in games against Spain and Costa Rica.
Bayern Munich midfielder Kimmich has now been a regular for Germany at four major tournaments and their shortcomings have left him with a “bitter” aftertaste.
Kimmich is back in Doha for a mid-season training camp with Bayern and asked at a press conference about Germany’s chances of winning a major trophy as he looks forward to hosting Euro 2024, Kimmich said: “I have to play until I’m 45, then hopefully.”
The 27-year-old added: “We had big goals and we wanted to achieve something.
“In the end, we were knocked out early again. After 2018, the Euros and now another tournament like this, it’s very bitter.
“You don’t get that many chances in the national team so it’s not something you can just forget about and move on because it is what it is.”
Kimmich believes Germany could go into the tournament if they qualify from their group, but acknowledges the other sides – including eventual champions Argentina – arrived in Qatar in better form.
“I thought a lot of things didn’t work in 2018, including internally in our team. Against England [at Euro 2020] it felt like a 50-50 game,” Kimmich said.
“Last year, I don’t want to say everything was great, but in the end those 30 minutes against Japan cost us the tournament. If we had drawn there, we would have gone through for sure.”
“We also lacked confidence, especially when I look at other teams. Italy had a long unbeaten run before the Euros, Argentina too [before the World Cup].
“That’s something we have to focus on. We can’t start it as soon as the tournament starts. We should start it in March.”
“We have to win our games, gain confidence and gain some self-understanding for our processes. Then we also have to bring that to the field and be able to rely on it.”