Hansi Flick will remain in charge of Germany through Euro 2024 despite a disastrous World Cup campaign following discussions with the German Football Association (DFB).

The former Bayern Munich boss succeeded Joachim Low following Euro 2020, and was tasked with reviving the national team's prestige after back-to-back disappointing major tournaments 

But, as at Russia 2018, Germany instead crashed out in the group stage at Qatar 2022, sparking serious questions about leadership at the top, and leading to the exit of technical director Oliver Bierhoff.

Flick's own future has been up in the air too, but after holding talks with DFB president Bernd Neuendorf and vice-president Hans-Joachim Watzke, he has now been confirmed to be staying on board.

"My coaching staff and I are optimistic about the European Championship in our own country," Flick said. 

"As a team, we can achieve a lot more than we showed in Qatar. We missed a great opportunity there.

"We will learn our lessons from that. We all want the whole of Germany to gather behind the national team again at the home European Championship in 2024."

Neuendorf added Flick has the full backing of the DFB, while also revealing that a replacement for Bierhoff will not be explored until a potential leadership reshuffle.

"We are all convinced that the 2024 European Championship in our own country represents a great opportunity for football in Germany," he said.

"Our goal is to make this tournament a sporting success. We have full confidence in Hansi Flick. He will master this challenge together with his team.

"With regard to Oliver Bierhoff's successor, we have agreed that we will first discuss the future structure of this area of ​​responsibility within the DFB and then make a personnel decision."

Hansi Flick has revealed his dismay at Oliver Bierhoff leaving his role as Germany team director, with the coach stunned by the decision.

Former Germany striker Bierhoff stepped aside on Monday, saying he had come "to an understanding on the matter with president Bernd Neuendorf" after the national team's group-stage World Cup exit.

Neuendorf, in charge of the German Football Association (DFB), may now face a battle to appease Flick, who is due to remain in post through to the Euro 2024 finals.

Germany will host that tournament, and Flick described it as having been a "common goal" of his work with Bierhoff.

Flick said Bierhoff, who many will see as a scapegoat for Germany's World Cup failure, would be difficult to replace, both on a personal and professional basis.

By Flick's reckoning, Bierhoff achieved great things during his 18 years with the DFB. He picked out overseeing the 2014 World Cup triumph as the peak of the achievements, but also noted the "professionalisation of the national team and its environment" and development of the DFB academy and campus.

"He pushed all of this forward with great personal commitment and against a great deal of resistance," Flick said. 

"At the moment, my coaching team and I are having a hard time imagining how the gap created by Oliver's departure can be closed, both professionally and personally.

"Our cooperation has always been characterised by loyalty, team spirit, trust and reliability. Cohesion was in the DNA of our team.

"Oliver was my first contact and friend within the team. Our common goal was the Euro 2024 project in Germany. For Oliver, the focus was always and exclusively on the well-being of the national team, the DFB and German football."

The nature of Flick's reaction, which was published on Tuesday by the DFB, has sparked speculation about the coach's own future. Reports have said Thomas Tuchel, Ralf Rangnick or Fredi Bobic could be possible successors.

Of Bierhoff, Flick said: "I would like to thank him personally and as the national coach for this long collaboration and the invaluable trust that has been placed in us. Trust is and remains the greatest asset in football.

"The last few days have not been easy, and I wish Oliver and his family the very best from the bottom of my heart. German football and the national team in particular owe him an incredible amount."

Germany's national team director Oliver Bierhoff has left his role in the aftermath of the side's dismal World Cup campaign.

Bierhoff, who was a Euro 1996 winner and a runner-up at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea as a player, first assumed his role with the German Football Association (DFB) in 2004.

The former Milan forward oversaw Germany's fourth World Cup triumph in Brazil eight years ago, but the team have since suffered consecutive group-stage exits at the tournament, finishing behind Japan and Spain in Group E at this year's competition.

The likes of Philipp Lahm and Dietmar Hamann reacted to the team's elimination in Qatar by calling for significant changes in German football, and the first of those will see Bierhoff depart. 

DFB president Bernd Neuendorf said: "Oliver Bierhoff has rendered great services to the DFB. Even if the last tournaments fell short of the sporting goals, he stands for great moments. 

"His work will always be linked to the World Cup success in Brazil. Even in turbulent times, he always pursued his goals and visions and left a lasting mark on the DFB. 

"On behalf of the DFB employees, I would like to thank Oliver Bierhoff for everything he has done for us and for football in Germany."

Oliver Bierhoff knows Germany only have themselves to blame after they crashed out of a second successive World Cup at the group stage on Thursday.

Hansi Flick's side beat Costa Rica 4-2 in their final Group E match at Al Bayt Stadium, but that was not enough to see them through to the round of 16.

Japan's surprise 2-1 win over Spain ensured the Samurai Blue finished top and Luis Enrique's side secured second place due to having a superior goal difference to Germany.

Having failed to advance from their group in Russia four years ago, Germany were left stunned after falling short once again in Qatar.

A shock 2-1 loss to Japan in their opening match cost Germany, who held Spain to a 1-1 draw before claiming a first victory of the tournament in what proved to be their final game.

Bierhoff, Germany's national team managing director, said: "We're extremely disappointed. We're angry too because we had things in our own hands in all three games.

"Ultimately, football is a simple game. You have to score lots of goals and concede as few goals as you can, which we didn't manage to do.

"We could have put more pressure on Spain tonight if we had taken our chances and scored more goals. A trend of the last few years has been us throwing away games we’ve controlled."

Japan will face Croatia for a place in the quarter-final next Monday, with Spain taking on Morocco 24 hours later.

Joshua Kimmich admits he feels "really angry" with Bayern Munich's start to the new season, as he hopes to turn the page on Germany duty this week.

Julian Nagelsmann's Bundesliga champions started the new league campaign with three emphatic victories on the bounce, but have since gone winless in their last four.

With just three points from a possible dozen and defeat to Augsburg shortly before the international break, the Bavarian giants lie fifth, casting serious doubts over Nagelsmann's future.

Speaking ahead of Germany's upcoming games against Hungary and England in the UEFA Nations League, Kimmich says he and his team-mates have found themselves frustrated by their inability to get over the line.

"You get really angry", he stated. "Mainly because I don't think the defeat and the draws are necessary. We had a few chances.

"[But] there is no point having a few chances if you then lose again. You look forward to the next game, that you can do better, even if it is not with the club."

Former Germany international Oliver Bierhoff, who now serves as the national team's director, believes the change of scenery has done Bayern's international contingent good, however.

"I don't see our Bayern Munich players with hanging heads," he added. "I don't think we have to build them up. We still hope that the time with the national team will be a break from everyday life for some.

"To gain confidence and get back in, I don't see the situation there as dramatic. They have different requirements. I didn't get the impression that there was a team that was falling apart."

Germany's national team director Oliver Bierhoff has confirmed Niklas Sule is the player to have tested positive for coronavirus.

It was announced earlier on Tuesday that a member of Germany's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Armenia had returned a positive PCR test result and had immediately gone into isolation, though the player was not named at the time.

Four other players who were judged to have been close contacts also had to isolate, though no other positive results had been recorded within the camp.

At a subsequent news conference, Bierhoff confirmed Bayern Munich centre-back Sule was the player to have contracted COVID-19. 

Sule is double vaccinated, and the earlier update stated he had not shown any symptoms.

His club-mate Joshua Kimmich, who has publicly confirmed he has not yet received either dose of his vaccine, is one of the other four players to have gone into quarantine.

Kimmich, 26, explained last month that he is not opposed to the prospect of getting vaccinated at some stage, but he wishes to wait for further research to be conducted.

Fellow Bayern players Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala have also been forced into isolation, given they were part of the same travelling party to the training camp, while Karim Adeyemi also has to quarantine.

"The squad is still strong, and we will prepare for the two games in World Cup qualification from noon today and make them successful," said Bierhoff.

"The situation is not easy for the players, but there is no huge concern now."

Asked about Kimmich, Bierhoff said: "It was clear that if someone in his environment tests positive, he would be put in quarantine.

"Of course, that's difficult to accept when you have acted correctly and paid attention to everything."

Bierhoff was joined at the media conference by Germany's team doctor Tim Meyer, who explained the length of the quarantine will depend on the regulations set by the local health authority in Wolfsburg.

Asked if Gnabry, Musiala and Adeyemi were vaccinated, Dr Meyer said: "I won't give you any information about that. The vaccination plays a role in the decision, but also how close the contact was.

"I have already given my personal opinion on vaccination against COVID-19. Joshua Kimmich's opinion is also known. We have to accept that."

Dr Meyer added that four other players have been classed as contacts, though will be allowed to remain at the accommodation and will be tested again in the coming days.

Germany have also lost Florian Wirtz and Nico Schlotterbeck to muscular injuries, with Kevin Volland and Wolfsburg duo Ridle Baku and Maximilian Arnold added to the squad.

France's World Cup-winning captain Hugo Lloris and Germany team director Oliver Bierhoff both rubbished FIFA's idea of a biennial showpiece tournament.

FIFA held an online summit last month to discuss moving World Cups from occurring every four years to every two, which has already been met by strong opposition within UEFA.

Lloris – who won football's coveted trophy with France at Russia 2018 – argued the four-year cycle made World Cups more "precious" but also spoke about the impact on players with a growing football schedule.

"I think the World Cup should be something quite rare, so the fact that you play it only every four years helps protect this precious element to it," Lloris said during a news conference ahead of France's Nations League semi-final against Belgium.

"As a group we are waiting for competition every four years and as a player, I think it's always something that is on your mind.  

"Things need to evolve and I think a decision should be made thinking about the players, the clubs and the countries. But it's something I'm not part of, it's something to be decided by the big institutions."

Bierhoff was part of the Germany side which were World Cup runners-up to Brazil in 2002 and has remained heavily involved in football off-field since his playing retirement in 2003.

The former Milan forward said he had not met any player or coach who felt a biennial World Cup was a good idea, also citing the impact of the participants.

"Regarding the exhaustion of the players, I think we always have to keep their health in mind, and to play a World Cup .... I haven't yet found a player or coach who has said that they believed it is a good idea," Bierhoff said.

"Also, regarding the standard of the tournament, playing a World Cup every four years is seen as the right thing by everyone involved.

"I think that everyone in football should not just focus on maximising revenue but also on assuring the quality of football."

A Germany player has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of their World Cup qualifying clash with Iceland on Thursday. 

The individual - whose identity has not been revealed - did not have any symptoms and was immediately sent into isolation, the German Football Association (DFB) confirmed. 

Germany's bid to reach the 2022 World Cup kicks off against Iceland in Duisburg, followed by clashes with Romania and North Macedonia on Sunday and Wednesday respectively.  

A statement from the DFB read: "The strict hygiene concept of the DFB is aimed at avoiding category 1 contacts. The measures that are being implemented include the permanent wearing of FFP2 masks, except when eating at the table.  

"[Also] Staying in closed rooms in fixed, narrow time windows, keeping a distance in all functional rooms in the hotel, using two team buses and several vans for trips to the training ground, as well as close-knit testing.

"Since the meeting of the national team on Monday, two PCR and one antigen rapid tests have taken place in the team hotel." 

National team director Oliver Bierhoff added: "Of course, this news is bitter so shortly before the game – for the coach and the entire team. 

"But we are confident that this will remain the case, as we have taken all hygiene measures so far and have been very disciplined. Of course, we will implement all the requirements of the authorities."

 

Germany team director Oliver Bierhoff had no issue with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's comments on Hansi Flick's future, insisting the DFB would not have approached the coach while he remained at Bayern Munich.

The 2014 world champions are searching for a new coach to succeed Joachim Low, who will leave his role after the Euro 2020 finals later this year.

Flick, Low's former assistant, was predictably mooted as a potential replacement having enjoyed great success as Bayern boss.

The Bavarian giants won the treble last season and have already added the Club World Cup title in 2020-21, while defences of their Bundesliga and Champions League crowns remain on track.

Flick, who turned Bayern's fortunes around, is under contract until 2023, although club CEO Rummenigge will depart at the end of the year.

That will not spell the end of Flick's tenure, though, Rummenigge insisted last week, saying: "We are well advised to finish what we have agreed in the contract."

But this does not clash with Germany's plans either, as Bierhoff says the new man will not be poached from another job. Ralf Rangnick, who turned down a role at Schalke, has been linked.

"Nothing has changed for us," the team director said on Monday. "We always said we won't approach a coach who is currently under contract.

"I interpreted it in the way that [Rummenigge] wanted to back Hansi Flick and he did. That is the right thing to do as CEO of a club."

Bierhoff was facing the media at the start of the first international break of 2021, with the clock now ticking on Germany's recruitment process.

"We don't have limitless time, but we are not under pressure either," he said. "We have to appoint a new coach for the time after the Euros. We are going to take our time.

"The DFB delegation will be in the team hotel in the coming days. President Fritz Keller, Peter Peters, Rainer Koch and Friedrich Curtius will be there and we will discuss the situation.

"Obviously we will analyse, discuss and have long talks, and then we'll see."

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