Even if Hansi Flick’s side go out in the World Cup group stage after defeat by Japan, some things just matter more
Sometimes in football, as in life, you don’t always get what you deserve. We might otherwise now be lauding Germany for defying Fifa before beating Japan in their World Cup opener. Instead, after an upset that resembled Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa in its force and magnitude, the sniping from the critics quickly began.
There was a common refrain after Germany’s 2-1 defeat: that they had paid the price for being too distracted by daring to stick up for human rights. As one Qatari reporter’s account, liked more than 200,000 times on social media, put it: “This is what happens when you don’t focus on football.”