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Thomas Muller Hints at International Retirement Following Germany World Cup Exit

Thomas Muller hinted that he could retire from international football after Germany were eliminated from the World Cup on Thursday night.

The four-time champions were again eliminated from the group stage, four years after their embarrassing display as defending champions in Russia.

And the Bayern Munich star was crestfallen after their shock exit in Qatar.

Muller said in his post-match interview: ‘We have had many great moments together. Thank you for everything.’

He added: ‘If that was my last game for Germany, a few words to the German fans: It was a tremendous pleasure.

‘Thank you very much. I always tried to show heart on the pitch. Sometimes there were tears of joy, sometimes pain. I did it with love. I need to think about everything else now.’

The forward, 33, scored 44 goals in 121 appearances and played an instrumental role in his nation’s World Cup victory in 2014.

Coach Hans Flick said Germany must now focus on the next generation of young players after going out despite a 4-2 victory over Costa Rica.

‘I believe for the future of German football we need to do things differently in training,’ said Flick, who took over as coach after last year’s European Championship.

‘For years we are talking about new goalkeepers and wingbacks, but Germany was always able to defend well. We need the basics.

‘For the future, for the next 10 years, it is very important to focus on the new generation of players.’

It was only eight years ago that Germany won its fourth World Cup title, beating an Argentina team led by Lionel Messi in his prime in the final at the Maracana Stadium. With that victory, Germany became the only European team to win a World Cup in either North or South America.

In Qatar, it was an opening loss to Japan that set the stage for the disappointing finish this time. Germany was beaten 2-1 in that match last week, and followed it with a 1-1 draw against Spain.

That gave the Germans a chance in its last match at Al Bayt Stadium, and for a few minutes during the simultaneous final group matches on Thursday, it was enough. At halftime, for example, Germany was beating Costa Rica and Japan was losing to Spain – results that would have put the Germans into the round of 16.

It was Japan’s 2-1 victory over the Spaniards that essentially cost the Germans a chance to play at least one more match in Qatar.

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